Mesothelioma Survival RatesBecause mesothelioma is so hard to detect, and can easily seem to be just an upset stomach or other minor issue, it is often the case that by the time you realize you have mesothelioma, it is too late to do anything about it. The only reason you realize that you have a cancer in your chest cavity is that something truly awful has gone wrong, and you are on the final stages.
The average person who finally finds a doctor to determine they have mesothelioma often has less than a year left to live at that point - even with the best treatment. The current 5 year survival rate is between 7%-20% depending on which study you read. Again, this is not necessarily because mesothelioma is "nastier" than other forms of cancer - it is more that it is so hard to detect. It festers away in the core of your chest for years and years, causing damage but not being noticed.
In fact, on a webpage for a drug being tested for mesothelioma patients, the drug makers claim with pride, "Some of the patients survived two years after the study which is very unusual for mesothelioma." It is a pretty harsh disease, when helping you make it to 2 years is a great victory.
Part of the problem with helping patients survive is that there are so few known people with mesothelioma - and they die so quickly after being discovered. There aren't a lot of people to do clinical trials on, to figure out what works and what doesn't work. There are hundreds of thousands of people who HAVE mesothelioma right now, according to most doctors. But all of those sick people do not realize yet that they have it. They typically only really know they have mesothelioma right before they die. So by then it is often impossible to do any real tests to see what might have helped them, if it had been caught earlier.
Mesothelioma Main Page
NOTE: I am not a doctor - please always talk to a doctor if you are not feeling well or have medical questions!
Lisa Shea Homepage