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Category Archives: Survival Rates

Mesothelioma and Survival Rates

October 14, 2009

 

The estimated survival rate for patients who choose to have only supportive care, i.e. treatment only directed at controling the symptoms, ranges from 4-9 months. Statistics show that fifty percent of patients die within six months if no treatment other than supportive care is given.

Patients who meet the criteria to be selected in trials that use many treatments (multimodal trials) tend to survive longer, i.e. fifty percent surviving up to 18 months after treatment. However – every patient is individual and survival rates depend on how advanced the mesothelioma is. For example – if you were diagnosed very early, and the mesothelioma is located on the parietal pleura only, ( The parietal pleura lines the inside of the chest and covers the ribs, see illustration) then your chance of survival is much better, with seventy percent of the patients living for five years. If the disease involves the lung – without invading it ( i.e still at stage 1 without lymph nodes involved), the survival rate decreases to a thirty percent chance of surviving for five years.

main140pleura

What do these frightening survival statistics mean to me as a patient?

Your doctor or specialist has to be honest with you when he discusses survival rates to you.  he or she will quote general statistics, but will treat your mesothelioma as an individual case. You may be  a candidate for therapies that are fairly new and that may generate different statistics than older ones. Thank fully – Treatment for mesothelioma is rapidly changing, and medical experts are learning so much more about the disease at an incredibly accelerated rate.

Sources: Questions &  Anwers about Mesothelioma, Harvey I. Pass, MD.