Mesothelioma: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

It is estimated that about 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the United States. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men. The average age for a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is 69. 

The number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma is no longer increasing as it was were in previous decades and may now be decreasing. The average survival time is the amount of time that a person can live after the cancer is found. The average survival time of people with mesothelioma who are treated with surgery is between 12 and 21 months.  

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with mesothelioma is 5% to 10%. However, the length of time a person lives after being diagnosed with mesothelioma depends on many factors, including the patient’s age and the type of mesothelioma. In particular, some patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have a tumor that grows very slowly.

It is important to remember that statistics on how many people survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on thousands of people with this cancer in the United States each year. So, your own risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long anyone will live with mesothelioma. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Source: American Cancer Society.

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing this disease. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.