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 and some general survival information. 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, and two-thirds of people with mesothelioma are older than 65.

Mesothelioma rates are no longer increasing as they 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. However, cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. It is important to note that the length of time a person lives after being diagnosed with mesothelioma depends on a many factors, including the type of mesothelioma. In particular, some patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have a tumor that grows very slowly. Overall, it is estimated that 5% to 10% of people with mesothelioma live at least five years after the cancer is found.

These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with mesothelioma. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Source: American Cancer Society

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors and 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.