Lung cancer and Mesothelioma survival rates

Last Updated on 22nd September 2020 by Kirsty Smithson

Lung cancer and Mesothelioma survival rates – what you need to know

When a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, it can feel overwhelming and they will no doubt have lots of questions that need answering, such as ‘what are the mesothelioma survival rates?’

It’s one of the 1st questions a patient will have as they will be eager to know how long they can expect to live.

In order to answer this question, It’s really important to understand what is meant by the term ‘survival rate’.

The survival rate is the ‘percentage’ of people who go on to survive cancer for a specific amount of time after being diagnosed.

Doctors may give you a 2-year or 5-year survival rate based on current cancer statistics, or they may give you a “median survival” number – this is the time in months or years in which half of patients diagnosed with a specific cancer are alive.

The survival rates are based on multiple data gathered from thousands of different cancer cases.

They will also depend on several different varying conditions such as general health and functional status, treatment, race, gender and age.

So when it comes to lung cancer or mesothelioma survival rates, which type of cancer will you have a better chance of survival with?

Mesothelioma survival rates

Mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs and is solely attributed to asbestos exposure, has less than 10 percent of patients live beyond the 5 year survival rate.

The exact survival rate will depend on various factors such as the location of the disease, the stage it’s at and the cell type of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma generally has a worse prognosis than lung cancer because of it’s long incubation period.

It can take up to 50 years for any symptoms to develop, meaning it’s already too late to treat the cancer as it’s so far advanced.

Statistics show that sadly, only 35 percent of patients live longer than 1 year.

Lung Cancer survival rates

Survival rates for lung cancer depend on at what stage the cancer is and the type of cancer and they range from just a few months to years.

Patients diagnosed early with lung cancer have a 5-year survival rate of roughly 50 percent, meaning half of patients will live on after 5 years of being diagnosed.

Those patients diagnosed with late stage lung cancer, where the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, will have a 5-year survival rate of less than 5% percent.

lung cancer and mesothelioma survival rates
Survival rates for lung cancer and mesothelioma are very similar at around 5 years or less

Is there anything that can be done to lengthen my lifespan?

The one thing that will improve your chance of survival is early diagnosis.

The earlier the disease is detected and treated, the better your quality and life span will be.

Cancers are difficult to diagnose, especially lung cancer and mesothelioma.

But there are other ways you can improve your chances of survival.

Chemotherapy or radiation therapy will help to prolong your life and hopefully also maintain your quality of life.

As well as medical treatment, making adjustments to your lifestyle will also be beneficial, such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise.

Survival rates for mesothelioma and lung cancer are only statistics based on past data, so please bear that in mind.

Each individual case is different, and advancements in medical treatment keep on evolving, particularly for mesothelioma, meaning survival rates are increasing.

Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their properties, carrying out an asbestos survey in their building so as not to put employees at risk.

So make sure you contact our Armco office to arrange asbestos testing or an asbestos survey, before it’s too late! 

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit book an asbestos awareness training course.

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Published Jun 11, 2018

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