Generally the affected person is aged between fifty and seventy when first diagnosed with mesothelioma. The person is usually a man (three to five times more likely) and is less likely to be an African American than Caucasian.
Mesothelioma can exist for years without any symptoms being felt. By the time symptoms appear the disease is usually at an advanced stage. This late diagnosis greatly limits treatment options and consequently the average life expectancy after diagnosis is usually only around 12-18 months. Where mesosthelioma is found early and the consequent range of treatments greater the better the prospects - fifty per cent live to two years mark and twenty per cent to five years.
The five-year survival rate is a standardized way of discussing prognosis and refers to the percent of those with mesothelioma who live a minimum
of five years after mesothelioma is first diagnosed. As five-year survival rates are based on people whose mesothelioma treatments started over five years ago it 'ignores' the latest treatments which should produce better results for those more recently diagnosed.
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