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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Were you diagnosed with pericardial, peritoneal, pleural, or testicular mesothelioma? Do you have a history of asbestos exposure, or are you experiencing the signs and symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, like shortness of breath?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent patients with early or late-stage mesothelioma to ensure they are compensated for their damages. Contact our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

All sensitive or confidential information you share remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Medically, survival rate refers to the percentage of pleural mesothelioma patients who remain alive for a particular period after being diagnosed with a specific disease. The survival rate for mild conditions is relatively high, while severe illnesses like cancer might be just a few weeks or months.

Mesothelioma usually develops as a layer of cancer cells covering most of your internal organs. Since it affects the tissues surrounding multiple organs, it is mainly fatal and has an aggressive prognosis.

The malignant mesothelioma survival rate depends on several factors, including genetics, age, gender, demographics, and the severity of the condition. Here’s an overview of the survival rates in mesothelioma.


What Is the Mesothelioma Survival Rate?

Malignant mesothelioma survival rates involve the percentage of patients who live for a certain period after being diagnosed with the condition. Peritoneal mesothelioma survival rates are higher than the other two types: pericardial and pleural mesothelioma.

The general overview of mesothelioma survival rate shows that most patients tend to die after the first year. Then, as the disease progresses, the survival rate goes down to approximately 4.7% after ten years for patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma.

For a layman, survival rates for patients may be a bit confusing that are better understood when explained in detail. For instance, the 3-year survival rate for pericardial mesothelioma is 26%. This data means that 26 out of 100 patients with this form of mesothelioma have a survival rate that will be alive after three years of the disease’s onset.

Generally, healthcare experts study cancer patients’ survival rates in intervals of five years. However, since malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, its survival rates are studied in intervals of one, three, five, and ten years.

The average survival rates for all types of pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal mesothelioma are:

  • 1 Year: 73%
  • 3 Years: 22.9%
  • 5 Years: 10%

Specifically, individuals with the 5-year survival rate after developing mesothelioma is 10%. This number is determined because the condition was diagnosed at a late stage. In cancers diagnosed early on at a localized stage, the individual’s 5-year survival rate after developing mesothelioma is 18%.

If doctors have not diagnosed mesothelioma, and deadly cancer spreads to nearby tissue, the length system, organs, and bones, the patient’s 5-year survival rate is 12%. Likewise, if the cancer spreads (metastasizes) to distant parts of the body, including the brain, the individual has a 5-year survival rate of 7%.

Generally, the length of time any individual can survive, based on known survival rates, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma depends on the stage when it was identified and if the individual has any underlying medical conditions.

Some patients significantly outlive their survival rate, living longer than ten years, where others diagnosed with long survival rates die within 4-18 months after their initial mesothelioma diagnosis. Generally, relative survival rates compare individuals with the same stage and type of malignant pleural mesothelioma based on the overall population.

How Does It Differ From Life Expectancy?

Life expectancy is the number of years or months a patient is expected to remain alive after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Meanwhile, the survival rate is the percentage of patients who live for a certain period after being diagnosed.

The life expectancy for a mesothelioma patient may be higher than average survival rates for the disease, depending on their condition and other factors, like race, gender, disease severity, early detection, etc.

How Long Do You Live After Being Diagnosed With Mesothelioma?

Statistically, according to the mesothelioma survival rates, 55% of the patients remain alive for six months or longer, but only 35% live up to a year. Even worse, only 9% of patients make it to the 5-year mark past the statistical survival rates.

The period patients live after being diagnosed with mesothelioma differs from one case to another. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that survival rates are calculated by studying former patients’ data.

In some instances, the survival rate may not be indicative of a particular person’s diagnosis. For example, many mesothelioma patients delay or refuse treatment like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Thus, they end up lowering the mesothelioma survival rate average.

Also, doctors use the mesothelioma survival rate to explain the prognosis or progression of disease in an individual patient. Additionally, it helps the patient understand how their quality of life will be affected due to the disease.

It is vital to note that mesothelioma survival rates are not set in stone, especially if the patient has not completed chemotherapy or radiation therapy. They may differ according to the population type and may go up or down as new data comes in.


Can Mesothelioma Ever Be Cured?

No. At the moment, there is no cure for mesothelioma patients. The primary reason behind this is the aggressive and widespread nature of cancer. Since it impacts several organs, it practically affects the whole body.

However, early diagnosis leaves room for more treatment options, easing the patients’ symptoms and giving them a relatively higher survival rate. For example, the American Cancer Society [1] data shows that the median survival time involving pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma patients who had undergone surgery to cure their cancer had a relative 5-year survival rate and median survival.

The American Cancer Society obtained its information through the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database [2] that provides overall survival statistics involving older and younger patients receiving treatment.

Cases involving peritoneal, pericardial, and pleural mesothelioma are not always fatal in the short term. However, the treatment methods focus on providing comfort to the patient rather than helping them live longer.

Unfortunately, only 20% of pericardial, pleural, and peritoneal mesothelioma patients live past the statistical 5-year survival rate.

Factors Affecting Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Owing to the new diagnostic and treatment options available, patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are living longer. However, in certain conditions, no amount of treatment can help increase a patient’s lifespan.

Alternatively, with the best treatment, mesothelioma patients, especially younger patients, have a significantly higher survival rate from their initial diagnosis. Survival rates are typically grouped based on how the cancer is spread, where the mesothelioma cancer has spread, the patient’s overall health, and age.

Here are certain factors influencing pericardial, peritoneal, and pleural mesothelioma survival rates.

Tumor Location

Doctors diagnose the extent of mesothelioma cancer based on the tumor’s location, tumor histology, and mesothelioma cell type. In addition, the area where pericardial, peritoneal, and pleural mesothelioma occurs is crucial in determining the survival rate.

For example, peritoneal mesothelioma originates in the peritoneum – the lining of the abdominal cavity. The peritoneal mesothelioma survival rates are 65%, with patients living up to five years.

The 5-year survival rate for pericardial mesothelioma patients is approximately 23%, based on its mesothelioma cell type. However, the survivors at five years are significantly less than average when the tumor affects the heart’s lining and affects the body more adversely.

Moreover, the treatment options for this mesothelioma type are limited due to the tumor’s proximity to the heart.

Likewise, malignant pleural mesothelioma survival rates are lower since the tumor impacts the internal organs and leaves little room for safe treatment. In comparison, testicular mesothelioma has the highest survival rates since there are more treatment options.


A patient’s genetic makeup may also reduce or increase their life expectancy. For example, patients with BAP-1 or BRCA-1 proteins have higher survival rates following an initial diagnosis of peritoneal, pericardial, and pleural mesothelioma.

More research is needed to understand the genetic implications of mesothelioma with varying 5-year overall survival statistics compared to a typical mesothelioma prognosis.


Non-smokers tend to live longer than smokers in case of malignant pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. However, smokers are 84 times more likely to acquire an asbestos-related ailment like asbestosis, mesothelioma, or lung cancer if exposed to the toxic mineral.

The mesothelioma cell type involved can increase or decrease survival rates. In addition, the complications are especially harmful to patients undergoing a pleurectomy with the score radiation (P/D) score at approximately 20 months.

Studies show that undergoing a pleurectomy with discoloration, like EPP, combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy improves results.

Cell Type

Besides different organs, the tumor may also be present in a different cell type. For instance, epithelioid mesothelioma occurs in the epithelial or epidermal layer of the skin. This disease has higher survival rates than other forms, including malignant pleural mesothelioma, which involves a different cell type.

On the other hand, if mesothelioma is present in sarcomatoid cells, it will respond poorly to treatment since these cells spread quickly. Therefore, doctors and mesothelioma specialists often referred to the biphasic cells comprising of biphasic, epithelioid, and sarcomatoid cells as mixed types.

Studies reveal that individuals with biphasic mesothelioma involving more epithelioid cells have a better response to treatment at nearly every stage of mesothelioma.

Sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma are significantly more aggressive than epithelioid cell type mesothelioma, with a better survival rate for many people.


Most patients diagnosed with pericardial, peritoneal, and pleural mesothelioma are white. Meanwhile, black patients have a higher average survival rate.

While white patients have a 10% survival rate in the 10-year duration, black patients have a 16.8% survival rate, according to the SEER 2009 data.

Blood Count

The number of specific blood cells in an individual also affects the patient’s survival rate. For example, patients with more white blood cells tend to lower the survival rates in patients diagnosed with non-epithelial mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Survival Rates by Type and Stage

Along with the aforementioned factors, peritoneal, pericardial, and pleural mesothelioma survival rates also depend on the type of cancer and its stage.

Here’s a table showing the average mesothelioma survival rates by type:

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Survival Rates

  • 1-year survival rate – 73%
  • 3 years – 23%
  • 5 years – 12%
  • 10 years – 4.7%

Survival Rates for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • 1-year survival rate – 92%
  • 3 years – 74%
  • 5 years – 65%
  • 10 years – 39%

Survival Rates for Pericardial Mesothelioma

  • 1-year survival rate – 51%
  • 3 years – 26%
  • 5 years – 23%
  • 10 years – Unknown

Based on survival rates, mesothelioma patients who undergo clinical trials have varying overall survival rates based on cell types, the extent of existing cancer cells, and when the diagnosis occurred.

Early detection and diagnosis of mesothelioma can help increase the survival rate in some cases. Here are the typical survival rates for pleural mesothelioma patients at different stages.


Mesothelioma Stages

Stage 1

  • Patients have a 21 to 51-month median survival rate at this stage
  • Individuals have a 41% the 46% two-year survival time
  • People have a 13% to 16% five-year survival rate at Stage 1

Stage 2

  • Patients have a 19 to 26-month median survival rate at this stage
  • Individuals have a 38% two-year survival time
  • People have a 10% five-year survival rate at Stage 2

Stage 3

  • Patients have a 15 to 16-month median survival rate at this stage
  • Individuals have a 17% two-year survival time
  • People have a 1% five-year survival rate at Stage 3

Stage 4

  • Patients have an 8 to 12-month median survival rate at this stage
  • Individuals have a 17% two-year survival time
  • People have a 1% five-year median survival rate at Stage 4

Meanwhile, the peritoneal mesothelioma survival rates are comparatively higher due to advancements in heated chemotherapy and cytoreductive surgery – two treatments that limit cancer’s spread. Cytoreductive surgery and heated chemotherapy (HIPEC) can significantly improve a patient’s survival rate, where many individuals are still alive past the median survival time.


Overall, at one year, the survival rate for mesothelioma is 92%, compared to the 74% survival rate for mesothelioma at three years. Additionally, the 5-year survival rate is 65%, compared to the 39% survival rate for mesothelioma at ten years.

As for pericardial mesothelioma, the diagnosis is quite rare, with only 1% of the mesothelioma patients having it. Furthermore, since it’s the most aggressive form, a minimal number of patients with this form of mesothelioma live one year following the diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Survival Rates by Demographic

Demographics, such as age and sex, also impact the survival rate of mesothelioma survivors.


Women have comparatively better survival rates than men. For example, statistics show that women are three times more likely to live for five years than men, especially males who developed the disease through asbestos exposure that significantly diminish their overall health.

It’s possibly due to lesser asbestos exposure and estrogen release. Also, women are mostly diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, which has higher survival rates than other types.


If a person is older and cancer has spread, they have little to no chances of making it past five years. According to clinical trials, the overview of the median survival times for mesothelioma survivors of different ages includes:

Survival Rates Based on Age at Diagnosis

  • Under 50 – 50.2%
  • 50 to 64 – 18.9%
  • Over 64 – 8.4%

Has Anyone Survived Mesothelioma?

Nowadays, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation technology have improved substantially, increasing the survival rate of patients. Unfortunately, however, most of them don’t manage to live longer than five years.

Here are a couple of case studies on long-term patients with mesothelioma with an extended survival time:

  • Paul: Diagnosed in 1997, Paul was 52 when he learned about his mesothelioma. He underwent multiple treatments and is alive in 2021 – 25 years after his diagnosis.
  • Julie: Julie’s doctors told her she only had up to a year to live when she was diagnosed in 2006. However, she is still alive today, thanks to surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Please read about more patients’ stories and their survival time on the Mesothelioma Veteran Center’s website.


Hire a Mesothelioma Injury Attorney to Represent your Personal Injury Claim

Are you the victim of asbestos exposure that led to your mesothelioma? Are you looking to hold your company or other parties accountable for their negligence leading to your injuries?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured people who have developed mesothelioma through another’s negligence. Contact our law office today at (888) 424-5757to discuss your case. All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Our law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures you will pay no upfront fees until we resolve your case through a jury verdict or negotiated settlement.

All immediate family members who lost a loved one through preventable mesothelioma can file a wrongful death lawsuit. We will ensure that families are compensated for the decedent’s lost wages, hospitalization costs, medical expenses, future lost earnings, loss of familial support, loss of consortium/companionship, pain, suffering, and funeral & burial expenses.

Many mesothelioma patients have already resolved their million-dollar lawsuits, and you can be compensated too. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your appointment and let us review your medical records.

Resources: [1] American Cancer Society, [2] National Cancer Institute

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