What is the prognosis (outlook) for someone with mesothelioma?

There is no known cure for mesothelioma; only about 15% of such patients are able to survive five years or longer.

Surgery appears to improve survival rates, but only in that small number of patients who get treatment at an early stage, and who are otherwise healthy enough to undergo such procedures.

Most patients are not diagnosed at an early stage because symptoms may not appear until later. Also, because of the nature of mesothelioma, it tends to involve most of the lining of the lung when it is found. Chemotherapy is often the main treatment and has been shown to prolong survival and improve quality of life for patients with mesothelioma.

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