Surviving Mesothelioma – A Death Sentence or a Fight for Life? 2024

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer found in the lining of organs like the heart and lungs. After a diagnosis, many wonder if mesothelioma is a death sentence or a fight for life. There are stories of individuals surviving mesothelioma, but they are, unfortunately the minority. However, there are still options for those diagnosed with mesothelioma, and improvements in treatment and control of the cancer continue to grow.

What Impacts Life Expectancy After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

Several aspects of a mesothelioma diagnosis can affect the resulting prognosis, and these continue to affect a patient’s life expectancy over time. While many of these factors are not under a patient’s control, some of them are. Factors include:

  • Type of Mesothelioma: There are three cell-type categories of malignant mesothelioma: epithelial, biphasic, and sarcomatoid. Patients with epithelial cells have a higher life expectancy, and this is the most common form of mesothelioma cell. Sarcomatoid cells are more resistant to treatment and have the lowest life expectancy. Biphasic cells are a mixed type of epithelial and sarcomatoid cells.
  • Where It Is Located: Mesothelioma can be located in the lining of different organs. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the lungs, and it is the most common type. The less common the type of mesothelioma, the more difficult it is to treat. Peritoneal mesothelioma is in the lining of the abdominal cavity, and it is less common. Even rarer forms include testicular and pericardial mesothelioma.
  • Stage of Treatment: One of the biggest factors in life expectancy is the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. The earlier mesothelioma is caught, the sooner treatment can begin and the better the prognosis. Stage 1 is the earliest phase, and Stage 4 is the final phase of mesothelioma. Early-stage mesothelioma is often asymptomatic or can be mistaken for other illnesses, making it hard to catch early. If you suspect that you have had asbestos exposure in the past, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of this.
  • Age: If an individual is diagnosed with mesothelioma when they are younger, they are likely to have a longer life expectancy. This is also due to the generally better overall health of the patient. Additionally, the longer a patient survives with mesothelioma, the longer their life expectancy.
  • Gender: Women are less likely to develop mesothelioma, and they often have a longer life expectancy in certain cases. Men have, in the past, more often held jobs with greater asbestos exposure risks, making them more likely to develop mesothelioma.
  • General Health: The general health and well-being of an individual prior to diagnosis and during treatment influence their prognosis. If a patient suffers from chronic illnesses and pre-existing conditions, this can decrease life expectancy or make certain treatments riskier. Individuals who smoke and are exposed to asbestos have a very high risk of lung cancer.
  • Treatment: Treatment increases an individual’s life expectancy and can manage the side effects of the illness. Getting treatment for mesothelioma is an incredibly personal decision.

Obtaining Compensation for Treatment

The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Many corporations were aware of the dangers and health risks of asbestos for decades, yet they continued to use the material or asbestos-filled materials in construction, heat shielding, fireproofing, talcum powder, cosmetics, and other products. This exposed many employees, consumers, and their family members to asbestos particles, which damage lung tissue and increase the risk of specific illnesses, including mesothelioma.

When the negligence of a corporation, employer, property owner, or other party is responsible for asbestos exposure, and you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be able to file a claim against those parties. This claim can secure compensation to cover the significant costs of mesothelioma treatment as well as other damages.


Q: Can You Live a Long Life With Mesothelioma?

A: The long-term survival rate for mesothelioma is not high, and the five-year survival rate is 10%. There are long-term survivors of mesothelioma. After a mesothelioma diagnosis, patients may have a life expectancy of between 6 months and two to four years, but some have as much as ten years. Many factors will influence life expectancy, including:

  • How early in its stage the cancer was diagnosed
  • Whether aggressive treatment is used
  • The type of mesothelioma
  • Which organ(s) it is impacting
  • The age and health of the individual

Q: Has Anyone Ever Recovered From Mesothelioma?

A: Mesothelioma does not have a cure, and no one has recovered entirely from it, although treatment can curb symptoms and lower the progression of the cancer. Mesothelioma can go into remission in very rare instances, which means it is present but not active. Some individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma who receive treatment live past the anticipated life expectancy. Although no one has recovered from mesothelioma, there are ways to continue to live your life.

Q: What Is the Prognosis for Inoperable Mesothelioma?

A: The life expectancy for Stage 4 mesothelioma is 12 months with treatment, and it may be between six and eight months without treatment, depending on the type of mesothelioma. If mesothelioma cannot be treated surgically, it means that the cancer has progressed too far.

Patients who cannot be treated surgically have lower survival rates, but there are still options for treatment and maintenance of health. The decision to undergo aggressive treatment or not is a very personal decision which should be discussed with medical professionals and loved ones.

Q: What Is End-of-Life Care for Mesothelioma Patients?

A: There are different forms of end-of-life care for mesothelioma patients, depending on their priorities. This may include palliative care, supportive care, or hospice.

  1. Hospice enables a patient to focus on their emotional health and time with loved ones, and it is helpful for patients with a low life expectancy.
  2. Supportive care focuses on the continued treatment of cancer and managing symptoms during that treatment.
  3. Palliative care prioritizes the comfort of a patient, minimizing pain through each stage of treatment.

Patients should make decisions about end-of-life care and how they want their medical care to be handled.

Wallace & Graham, P.A.: Supporting You in a Mesothelioma Claim

When you file a claim, you need effective and experienced legal support. At Wallace & Graham, P.A., we have over 40 collective years of experience in mesothelioma claims. Contact our firm today to see how we can build your claim and support you during this difficult time in your life.