Mesothelioma Prognosis

The term ‘prognosis’ means how a disease will progress. It can be both good or bad. It can also include a life expectancy estimate. There are certain factors that can impact your life expectancy & influence your chances of recovery. The average life expectancy for a person diagnosed with Mesothelioma is 12-21 months. Factors that affect prognosis are cell type, stage (Stage I, II, III, IV), the location of the diseases, age and gender.  





Cell Type

There are three mesothelioma cell types - epithelial cell type, sarcomatoid cell type and biphasic cell type.  Among these three, epithelial cells respond best to the treatment, while sarcomatoid cells generally do not. Biphasic cells are basically a combination of the other two cell types. Prognosis with this cell type depends on how much epithelial cells are present. A higher epithelial cell count generally improves prognosis. Experts still do not know why epithelial cells improve prognosis. 





By staging, it is possible to determine the progression of cancer. Early stages mean the cancer has not spread that much and it is still small. On the other hand, late stages mean the cancer has grown and spread throughout the body. In early stages, when the tumor is small and localized, doctors suggest surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These are very effective. But in late stages, the tumors are large and they do not respond to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. There are generally four stages. Patients diagnosed with stage I & II have better prognosis than that of patients diagnosed with stage III & IV. 




There are basically three locations- chest (Pleural mesothelioma), abdomen (Peritoneal mesothelioma) & tissues surrounding the heart (Pericardial mesothelioma). Doctors say Peritoneal mesothelioma has better prognosis than Pleural mesothelioma. On the other hand, Pericardial mesothelioma has a very poor prognosis. 




Prognosis gives better results for younger patients. A young body has better health conditions and fitness. Therefore, it is easier to recover for a young patient from aggressive chemotherapy & radiation therapy used to treat cancer. Studies say that patients below 50 have a more positive mesothelioma prognosis.





There are significant hormonal differences between male and female. Researchers think that these hormonal differences play a vital role in the treatment of mesothelioma. Statistics say that women have a better prognosis than men. A report from the National Cancer Institute says that 13.4% with mesothelioma survive for 5 years whereas only 4.5% of men suffering from mesothelioma survive for 5 years. 




Mesothelioma Survival Rates

5-Year Survival Rates

Age Range

44.2 percent

45 years or less

15.6 percent 

45 years to 54 years

15.9 percent

Less than 65 years

5.1 percent

Over 65 years


***This chart is prepared from the data of the National Cancer Institute



Treatments to Improve Your Mesothelioma Prognosis


There are various treatments available to improve your prognosis. They are-

1.     Multimodal Therapy: This type of therapy includes chemotherapy and radiation. Oncologists generally opt multiple therapies at a time because it kills more mesothelioma cells.

2.     Surgery: Surgery is the best option to remove mesothelioma cells from body so far. But the fact is that everyone is not eligible for this. 

3.     Clinical trials: Clinical trials offer unique and exceptional treatments. Patients who have already adopted the other two options and got no results, can try clinical trials for more options.