Knowing the key mesothelioma statistics and facts about asbestos can help you better understand this rare disease and make more informed decisions about your health.
The statistics from the American Cancer Society indicate about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma in the United States each year. The majority of these cases are due to asbestos, the main cause of the disease.
Statistics from the National Institutes of Health show that 11 million Americans were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1978.
Annual use of asbestos in the United States peaked at 803,000 metric tons in 1973, according to US Geological Survey records. It dropped to 1,700 metric tons in 2007.
Of all people with significant and prolonged exposure to asbestos, 2 to 10% develop pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of cancer associated with asbestos.
Who gets mesothelioma?
The typical mesothelioma patient is a man over 65 with a military background or blue collar. However, anyone with a history of asbestos exposure is at risk.
Trades with the highest risk of exposure to asbestos
Fight against fires
Demographic factors in the incidence of mesothelioma
Since men are exposed to asbestos more often, they are 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. 95% of diagnosed patients are white. Hispanics are diagnosed more often than blacks or Asians.
For people over 60, the risk of developing the disease is 10 times higher than for people under 40 years.
The difference between the first exposure and the onset of symptoms is called the latency period. The symptoms of mesothelioma usually appear 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.
Latency period diagram. Average latency of 47.9 years for men. 53.3 years of average latency for women.
Chronology of the latency period of mesothelioma
Facts about Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a complex disease and very few doctors have the experience to diagnose and treat it. Mesothelioma specialists offer patients the greatest hope.
Death toll of mesothelioma
Between 1999 and 2015, a total of 45,221 Americans died of mesothelioma.
Nearly 80% of these deaths occurred in men.
About 37% of those who died were between 75 and 84 years old.
Deaths of Mesothelioma by State, 1999-2013
Mesothelioma Mortality Rate by State
Nearly all densely populated states bear a heavy toll.
Survival rate of pleural mesothelioma by stage of diagnosis
Doctors classify mesothelioma cases in several stages to describe the extent of cancer spread. The stage of mesothelioma at the time of diagnosis affects the patient's treatment options and prognosis.
Data from the American Cancer Society reveal the link between staging and survival rates.
Graph comparing the 2-year survival rate and the 5-year survival rate by stage at diagnosis
The records show a low five-year survival rate for mesothelioma patients, regardless of their stage at the time of diagnosis.
Demographic Factors in Mesothelioma Survival Rates
Research shows that women diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma have a survival almost three times better than men. A 2014 study found that 13.4% of women survived five years after treatment, compared to only 4.5% of men.
The one-year survival rate is about the same for all breeds. From the age of three, survival is slightly worse for whites. Data from the National Cancer Institute indicate that the five-year survival rate for Whites is 7.6%, compared with 12.3% for Blacks.
Overall, younger patients have a significantly higher survival rate than older patients. More than 50% of patients diagnosed before the age of 50 survive a year, while less than 33% of those 75 and older survive the same duration.