Factors Influencing the Mesothelioma PrognosisThe prognosis for mesothelioma will depend on:
- The stage of mesothelioma (see Mesothelioma Stages)
- The size of the tumor
- Whether the tumor can be removed completely by surgery
- The amount of fluid in the chest or abdomen (stomach)
- The patient's age and general health, including lung and heart health
- The type of mesothelioma cancer cells and how they look under a microscope
- Whether the disease has just been diagnosed or has come back.
What Are Survival Rates?Survival rates indicate the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive the disease for a specific period after their diagnosis. In most cases, statistics refer to the five-year survival rate. The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are still alive five years after diagnosis, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer, are free of disease, or are receiving treatment. Survival rates are based on large groups of people; they cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and mesothelioma treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.
Relative Survival Rates for MesotheliomaSurvival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of mesothelioma patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall five-year relative mesothelioma survival rate for 1998 to 2002 was approximately 9 percent.
The following are the relative survival rates for each year following a mesothelioma diagnosis:
- Year 1 survival rate: 39 percent
- Year 2 survival rate: 20 percent
- Year 3 survival rate: 11 percent
- Year 4 survival rate: 10 percent
- Year 5 survival rate: 9 percent.