Mesothelioma Life Expectancy Factors
Factors affecting life expectancy include:
- Cell type (histology)
- Mesothelioma stage
- Mesothelioma type
- Overall patient health
- Patient age
- Patient sex
- Year diagnosed
With so many factors influencing life expectancy, it can be difficult for a mesothelioma specialist to predict how long a patient will actually live. However, a few important factors have a particularly strong influence on life expectancy.
Each malignant mesothelioma type develops in a different area of the body, and some places are harder to treat than others. In turn, the type of mesothelioma a patient develops can greatly affect life expectancy.
For example, patients with pericardial mesothelioma (affects the lining of the delicate heart) have a lower life expectancy, while patients with peritoneal mesothelioma (affects the lining of the abdomen) have the highest.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the only type that is well-studied enough to be classified using an official staging system. However, as a general rule, the earlier a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the longer they can expect to survive.
Stage at diagnosis may affect mesothelioma life expectancy because early-stage patients are better candidates for potentially life-extending surgery. Additionally, early-stage mesothelioma is further from metastasis.
About two-thirds of mesothelioma patients are diagnosed after their cancer is already advanced, however.
Mesothelioma is grouped into three main mesothelioma cell types based on how the cancer cells look and behave.
The type of cancer cells (epithelial mesothelioma cells, biphasic cells, or sarcomatoid cells) that make up a patient’s mesothelioma tumors can have a major impact on a patient’s life expectancy.
|Mesothelioma Cell Type||Median Life Expectancy
|Epithelioid Mesothelioma||12-24 months
|Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma||6 months
|Biphasic Mesothelioma||12 months
Other Life Expectancy Factors
Mesothelioma life expectancy may be affected by many factors outside of a patient’s cancer traits. Various studies have shown characteristics of the patients, themselves, may influence life expectancy — sometimes considerably.
Other mesothelioma life expectancy factors include:
- Age: Mesothelioma patients under 45 tend to have the longest life expectancy after diagnosis.
- Sex: Women with mesothelioma are consistently shown to live longer on average than their male counterparts. This may be because men tend to have heavier asbestos exposure or because women tend to develop the disease at a younger age. Some studies also indicated that estrogen may play a role.
- Overall health: Mesothelioma patients who are in otherwise good health and do not smoke tend to have a longer life expectancy on average. Such patients are more fit for life-extending surgeries and tend to remain healthier longer.