Mesothelioma does not occur immediately after asbestos exposure. It can take up to 60 years for mesothelioma to develop. Unfortunately, while the development of mesothelioma begins slowly, once tumors form, they tend to spread rather quickly. When mesothelioma tumors metastasize (spread), they move from their original location to other body parts. Because of how quickly mesothelioma can spread through the body, it is considered an aggressive form of cancer. Unfortunately, once mesothelioma tumors have metastasized, treatment options become more limited.
So, how quickly does mesothelioma spread? Exactly how quickly mesothelioma progresses in the body is dependent on several factors. Mesothelioma metastasis is influenced by, among other factors, cell type, cancer stage, and response to treatment.