From the blog

Women three times more likely to survive mesothelioma than men

Published: June 17, 2014

The prognosis for mesothelioma is grim- only 40 percent of all victims survive the first year with the average dwindling to eight percent after three years. Different studies varied in their conclusions about whether men or women survive longer. Recognizing none of the existing studies were population-based, researchers decided to do a large-scale study.

An examination of every confirmed case of malignant pleural mesothelioma, scientists looked at various factors, including age, gender, race, year of diagnosis, stage and treatment. Of the 14,228 cases, the 3,196 diagnosed women live much longer than their male counterparts.

Nothing varied among the other considerations, only men versus women. After five years, women faced a 13.4 percent survival rate, three times longer than their male counterparts. For men, the survival rate is 4.5 percent, less than the three-year average.

Historically, women develop mesothelioma at much lower rates than men. Many of the professions involving asbestos exposure, like construction and different industrial fields, are male dominated. In some cases, the workers’ wives came in contact with the cancerous fibers while washing their clothes and children from wearing their fathers’ coats.

As to why women live longer after diagnosis, researchers are unsure. More studies must be completed to determine if it’s because of different hormones, levels of exposure or overall tumor biology.

For more information, visit Mesothelioma-Line


Camacho-Rivera et al. (2014). Women with malignant pleural mesothelioma have a threefold better survival rate than man. [Link]

The Mesothelioma Center. (2014). Mesothelioma survival rates. [Link]

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