Mesothelioma Patient Timeline

Cancer is one of the most expensive medical conditions in the country, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 1 in 4 survivors struggle to pay their medical bills.

Throughout the average treatment timeline, patients with mesothelioma can expect to pay an astounding $402,000. However, compensation may provide critical help for covering these high costs.

Mesothelioma Patient Timeline and Treatment Costs

From doctors visits to X-rays to chemotherapy, mesothelioma treatment can span years and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The total estimated cost of mesothelioma treatment in the United States is $402,000.

An individual patient’s medical costs may vary depending on:

  • How much treatment, testing, and hospitalization a patient needs
  • How many diagnostic tests a patient needs
  • How often a patient is hospitalized due to their illness
  • How much their medical provider charges for medical services

See Detailed Cost Below

A study conducted by the Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions found that 62% of cancer survivors incurred debt as a result of their treatment.

The costs shown in the timeline below are based on the average costs for a patient’s first year of mesothelioma treatment.

*The prices for medical care and testing used here are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent any one patient in a specific geographical region.


  • $75

    Initial Doctor Visit

    A patient with mesothelioma symptoms — such as a persistent cough, fever, and difficulty breathing — visits their doctor.

  • $600

    Chest X-Ray

    The patient has a chest X-ray taken for signs of fluid buildup between the tissues lining the lungs and chest — a condition known as pleural effusion.

  • $3,000

    Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan of the Chest

    To find the exact location and stage of the cancer, the patient receives a CT scan.

  • $75

    Follow-Up Doctor Visit

    A medical professional discusses the results of the CT scan with the patient and schedules thoracentesis to remove extra fluid in the pleural area.

  • $2,250


    This procedure helps the patient breathe more easily by removing excess fluid, some of which is sent to a lab for testing.

  • $600

    Follow-Up Chest X-Ray

    The patient receives another chest X-ray to make sure the extra fluid is gone and their lungs function properly.

  • $73,000

    Video-Assisted Thoracoscopy (VAT) with Biopsy

    If a patient’s cytology report cannot confirm a diagnosis, they will undergo VAT surgery to remove a sample of lung tissue for a biopsy.

  • $75

    Follow-Up Doctor Visit

    The patient discusses test results with their doctor, noting that their symptoms have returned despite treatment.

  • $600

    Repeat Chest X-Ray

    Medical professionals perform another chest X-ray for signs of pleural effusion. When fluid buildup is discovered, they schedule another thoracentesis.

  • $2,250

    Repeat Thoracentesis

    Extra fluid is once again drawn out of the lung area and sent to a lab.

  • $600

    Follow-Up Chest X-Ray

    After the second thoracentesis, a follow-up X-ray is performed again to make sure fluid has been properly removed and the lungs are working.

  • $75

    Doctor Visit

    The patient returns to the doctor again with worsened mesothelioma symptoms.

  • $600

    Additional Chest X-Ray (if necessary)

    The doctor X-rays the patient’s chest and, again, finds pleural effusion. This time, they recommend a tube thoracostomy placement procedure to deal with the chronic pleural effusions.

  • $4,500

    Tube Thoracostomy

    During the procedure, a tube is inserted into the chest’s pleural cavity to drain extra fluid.

  • $600

    Additional Chest X-Ray (if necessary)

    A follow-up X-ray is taken to make sure excess fluid has successfully been removed. The X-ray also reveals masses in the lung.

  • $3,000

    Additional CT Scan

    To find the exact locations and, potentially, the stage of the cancer, the patient goes in for another CT scan.

  • $400

    Specialist Doctor Visit

    A specialist meets with the patient to discuss a treatment plan and to schedule a biopsy of the mass in the patient’s lung.

  • $73,000

    Additional VAT Surgery with Biopsy

    The patient undergoes VAT surgery again to remove a lung tissue sample for the biopsy.

  • $500

    Multiple X-Rays

    Several chest X-rays are taken to discover the status of pleural effusion and to make sure the patient is stable after the procedure.

  • $500

    Consultation with Oncologist

    The patient meets with an oncologist — a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer — to create a treatment plan.

  • $5,000

    Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

    To discover the stage of their mesothelioma, the patient has a PET scan performed.

  • $100

    Vitamin B12 Injection

    The patient gets vitamin B12 injections before chemotherapy to help reduce the treatment’s negative effects.

  • $100

    Follow-Up Labs

    The patient receives a complete blood count (CBC) test so the medical team can monitor their general health.

  • $10,000*

    Chemotherapy Begins

    The patient begins chemotherapy to treat their cancer. Its cost may vary depending on how often the patient receives treatment, which drugs are used, and other factors.

    *monthly average

  • $1,000*

    Aloxi Prescription

    The patient takes Aloxi to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.


  • $6,000*

    Neulasta Prescription

    To treat the lack of white blood cells caused by chemotherapy, the patient takes Neulasta.


  • $150

    Repeat B12 Injection

    The patient takes another B12 injection to remain as healthy as possible during chemotherapy.

  • $2,250

    Fluid Drains

    Lung fluid buildup may need to be relieved several times to reduce the patient’s discomfort.

  • $2,000*

    Possible Inpatient Hospitalization

    The patient may be hospitalized for conditions such as dehydration, severe nausea and vomiting, etc.

    *per night average

  • $25*

    Oxycodone Prescription

    The patient takes oxycodone and other drugs to relieve pain, often increasing the dosage over time.

    *for 100 pills

Total Estimated Yearly Cost


Affording the Cost of Mesothelioma Treatment

Every patient’s treatment timeline and medical costs will vary. Some may pay less than average, while others may need additional procedures like a chest MRI ($5,000), an echocardiogram ($800), or pneumonectomy with hospital admission ($250,000).

However, the $402,000 average total cost of mesothelioma treatment is far more than many patients and their families can afford.

Thankfully, compensation may be available if you were exposed to asbestos — the only known cause of mesothelioma — during your military service, in the workplace, or in other situations. A lawsuit can help cover medical costs and compensate you for the injustice you have suffered.

To speak to our team of legal professionals and discover if you may be entitled to compensation, fill out our contact form now.

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