The aftermath of asbestos usage in the United States has left an often tragic and even devastating path of destruction for exposure victims. For close to 100 years, between the late 1800s and mid- to late-1900s, millions of people were unknowingly exposed to a toxic and potentially fatal material. Many were exposed at work, while others came into contact with asbestos in their own homes-either from building components used during construction or through a process called secondary exposure.
Life after asbestos goes on with no detectable consequences for many people. But for the small and unfortunate portion that develops an asbestos-linked illness-such as asbestosis, mesothelioma or other forms of cancer-life is never the same again. All of these chronic and pervasive conditions cause significant physical and emotional distress for the victim-and in the case of mesothelioma cancers, death.
There is much information available about asbestos, its consequences and options for legal recourses. To offer victims of asbestos an easy and straightforward guide that is designed to cover a myriad of topics-from veteran exposure and cutting-edge treatment options to choosing a legal representative and taking your personal injury case to court.
PART V: MESOTHELIOMA SURVIVAL RATE FACTS AND FIGURES
If you’ve been following this series, you already know that the mesothelioma survival rate is very poor. Only a small group of meso victims have remained in remission long enough to called “survivors”-and even that is a bit of a misnomer, since no one has yet lived out a full life course after being diagnosed with disease. Now, let’s take a closer look at life expectancy statistics for mesothelioma and what exactly they tell us about the illness itself.
A Mesothelioma Survival Rate Breakdown
We covered in Part III that the average length of survival after a mesothelioma diagnosis is around 18 months. Now, let’s look at life expectancy stats in greater detail. Out of the 2000-3000 individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. each year, nearly 70 percent succumb to the disease within three years. About 40 percent make it to a year after diagnosis, while another 20 percent survive to see the two-year mark. After that, survival rates decline to around 8 percent at the three-year mark and then to as low as 5 percent at five years post-diagnosis.
Mesothelioma Survival Rates By Demographic Group
We already know that female victims fair better than males and that younger patients tend to respond better to mesothelioma treatment and live longer than those who are older when diagnosed. Let’s now examine those and some other demographic factors in statistical detail. In general, the youngest grouping of patients has about a 20 percent chance of surviving 10 years or more. Conversely, the oldest group has less than a 1 percent chance of surviving for a decade after diagnosis. In terms of gender, when looking at five-year survival statistics, women have more than double the survival rate of men (13.4 and 4.5 percent, respectively).
Studies seeking to find a link between race and mesothelioma survival have been largely unsuccessful, with little variation observed between rates for white, black and Latino populations up to the three-year mark. At three, five and ten years post-diagnosis, patients who identify themselves as Caucasian have about half the survival rate seen in non-Caucasian populations. Some researchers have attributed this discrepancy to differences in treatment decision tendencies observed from one ethnic group to the next.