How Mesothelioma Affects Life Expectancy

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that mainly affects the lining of the lungs and the chest wall, caused by exposure to asbestos. When we talk about life expectancy, we are referring to the average length of time a person is expected to live. According to, a mesothelioma diagnosis can significantly decrease a person’s life expectancy.

MORE: What to know about the incidence of mesothelioma

In the U.S, the current life expectancy is 78 years old, however, this number decreases to 61 for mesothelioma patients.

Life expectancy can be affected by age, sex and overall health. For cancer patients, it’s also affected by the stage and location of the cancer, the treatment plan and which clinical trials you’re able to participate in.

Although there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, some patients exceed their original prognosis by three, five or even 10 years, continuing to live active lives with their friends and family.

Despite the condition being incurable, there are certain factors within a patient’s control that can have an impact on life expectancy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle boosts the immune system, helping the body to cope with the development of the disease and the stress that comes with having a chronic illness. Nutritional supplements and alternative therapies like acupuncture have been shown to have positive results when used alongside cancer-fighting treatments.

Some patients have lived an additional five years just from using alternative treatments. Studies have shown that anti-cancer treatment is also effective at prolonging lifespan. For someone undergoing treatment for stage 4 cancer, research shows that the life expectancy is approximately one year, whereas it’s only seven months for someone who declines treatment.

MORE: Four important steps for follow up care of mesothelioma. 

Mesothelioma Research News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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