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Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. With only about 3,200 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year, there is much to learn about this disease—including how to better treat it and what can be done to improve life expectancy and survival rates.
Mesothelioma life expectancy – On average, mesothelioma patients survive about 4–18 months after diagnosis. However, some patients have lived more than 10 years.

Survival rate – Approximately 10% of mesothelioma patients currently live for 5 years after their initial diagnosis.

Mesothelioma remission – Unfortunately, in most cases, patients never go into remission, but many have lived longer than expected because they received early diagnoses and effective treatment.

Mesothelioma survivors – Currently there is no known cure for mesothelioma. However, many patients have been able to find some relief from their symptoms by combining traditional and alternative medical treatments. This approach includes following a modified and nutritious diet and practicing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation.

Improving Mesothelioma Prognosis

As with most forms of cancer, the earlier mesothelioma is detected, the longer a patient’s life expectancy will typically be. The problem is, it often takes 20 to 50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to appear. Even after symptoms are noticed, the disease can easily be misdiagnosed as a bad cold or the flu. Unfortunately, and far too often, by the time a diagnosis has been confirmed, the disease has spread so extensively that treatment cannot provide a cure.

Research for Earlier Diagnosis

Today, doctors and scientists are trying to uncover new ways to diagnose mesothelioma during earlier stages of the disease. One research study, for example, used a basic blood test to measure a special kind of warning signal called a biomarker. In this case, the specific biomarker they were looking for is released only when mesothelioma cells enter the bloodstream. This biomarker, called Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides (SMRP), can be elevated in a person’s body for years—well before symptoms actually appear or a definitive mesothelioma diagnosis is confirmed. In the future, earlier diagnosis could mean the difference between life and death for many people.

Researchers are also studying new medications and treatment options that may someday lead to better survival rates. In one bit of good news, newer chemotherapy drugs and procedures that provide a more targeted use of radiation are already increasing the life span of mesothelioma patients.