Mesothelioma and Life Expectancy: What You Need to Know

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was once widely used in construction and manufacturing industries. Unfortunately, many people who were exposed to asbestos decades ago are just now being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Types of Mesothelioma

There are four primary types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs and is the most common form of the disease
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen
  • Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the heart
  • Testicular mesothelioma, which is extremely rare and affects the lining of the testicles

The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the type of the disease and the stage at which it is diagnosed. Some common symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain, a persistent cough, and fatigue.


Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult because its initial symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory and digestive illnesses. It often takes several months or even years from the onset of symptoms to a definitive diagnosis. If you have been exposed to asbestos in your workplace or home, it's important to discuss it with your doctor.

The diagnostic process typically involves a physical exam, imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans, and a biopsy to confirm the presence of mesothelioma cells. A pathology report is then generated to classify the type of mesothelioma and determine its stage of progression.

Treatment and Life Expectancy

Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma, but there are several treatment options available. The most common treatment approaches include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

The choice of treatment depends on several factors such as the type of mesothelioma, its stage, and the patient's overall health. Surgery is the most effective treatment for early-stage mesothelioma, but it is not always an option for patients in advanced stages of the disease. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often used in combination with surgery to improve patient outcomes.

Unfortunately, because mesothelioma is an aggressive disease, the life expectancy of patients with the disease is generally poor. However, early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve survival rates. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for mesothelioma ranges from 5% to 10%, depending on the stage of the disease.

Legal Options for Victims of Mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to legal compensation from those responsible for your exposure to asbestos. Many companies that used asbestos in their products knew of its dangers but failed to warn their employees or the public. As a result, thousands of people have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

There are several legal options available to victims of mesothelioma, including filing a personal injury lawsuit, a wrongful death lawsuit, or a claim with a trust fund set up to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you navigate the legal process and recover the compensation you deserve.


Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that can have a profound impact on the lives of those affected and their families. While there is currently no cure for the disease, early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve survival rates. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it's important to seek the advice of an experienced mesothelioma attorney to explore your legal options and ensure that those responsible for your exposure to asbestos are held accountable.