Mesothelioma Prognosis by Type
One of the most significant influences on prognosis is mesothelioma type.
Peritoneal mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum), has the best prognosis of all types, despite it being much less common than pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura).
Pleural Mesothelioma Prognosis
Stage at diagnosis is one of the main factors influencing the prognosis for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Doctors usually stage pleural mesothelioma using the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging system, which uses four stages to describe how far a patient’s cancer has spread. In general, prognosis is better the earlier you are diagnosed.
|Pleural Mesothelioma Stage||Median Life Expectancy ||2-Year Survival Rate
|Stage 1||22.2 months (with surgery)||41-46%
|Stage 2||20 months (with surgery)||38%
|Stage 3||17.9 months (with surgery)||26-30%
|Stage 4||14.9 months (with treatment)||17%
Early-stage (stages 1 and 2) pleural mesothelioma patients in otherwise good health often make excellent surgery candidates, giving them a much better prognosis than late-stage (stages 3 and 4) patients.
Once cancer has reached distant parts of the body in later stages, it becomes nearly impossible to remove fully through surgery, and treatment is focused on symptom management and improving quality of life. This is what contributes to the poorer prognosis in later stages.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Prognosis
Peritoneal mesothelioma has the best prognosis on average of all mesothelioma types. Its median survival is around 51.5 months for patients with the epithelioid cell type who received cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).
Reasons why this cancer may have a more favorable prognosis include:
- Treatment: Patients may be better able to withstand more rigorous treatments in the abdominal area compared to the heart and lungs.
- Cancer progression: Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma seems to progress at a slower rate than other types and tends to remain in the abdomen instead of spreading to other areas of the body.
- Demographics: Peritoneal mesothelioma patients also tend to be younger and have a higher proportion of females, traits associated with a better prognosis.
Like all mesothelioma types, undergoing curative treatment is the most effective way to improve prognosis. For example, a 2015 study reported that 19 peritoneal mesothelioma patients who received a combination of surgery and chemotherapy had a 100% 1-year survival rate and a 91% 3-year survival rate.
Prognosis of Rare Types of Mesothelioma
Pericardial Mesothelioma Prognosis
Between its rarity and location near the delicate heart, this mesothelioma cancer has the worst prognosis of all types. On average, 50-60% of pericardial mesothelioma patients do not live more than 6 months after diagnosis.
Testicular Mesothelioma Prognosis
Little is known about the extremely rare testicular mesothelioma, however, its survival rates are typically high if the cancer is caught before it has spread. 49% of testicular mesothelioma patients can expect to live at least 5 years after diagnosis.