Facts You Should Know About Mesothelioma – Becoming informed on mesothelioma facts and statistics can help you better understand this rare cancer and help you spread awareness. While mesothelioma diagnoses only make up .3% of all cancers in the United States, learning how asbestos leads to mesothelioma and how the disease is treated can assist you in making more educated decisions about your health.
Top Mesothelioma Facts
Information sourced from medical journals, cancer research organizations, and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program have offered the following quick facts about the disease:
- There are four types of mesothelioma. They are pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular.
- Out of all individuals with prolonged asbestos exposure, between 2-10% develop pleural mesothelioma.
- Symptoms of mesothelioma often do not surface until 20-60 years following exposure. This is when tumors begin growing and spreading.
- The average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is 12 to 22 months.
Who are Most at Risk?
Patients most at risk of a mesothelioma diagnosis are men older than 65 with manufacturing and factory work backgrounds. This is because these industries, as well as all branches of the U.S. Military, used asbestos products. However, any individual with an asbestos exposure history is at risk.
Occupations that pose the most significant risk:
- Chemical refining
- Military service
- Power generation
Additionally, children and spouses of asbestos workers are also at risk due to exposure to asbestos fibers brought home on their family member’s clothing. This exposure has previously caused mesothelioma in family members of asbestos workers.
Mesothelioma Facts Incidence by Demographic
Because men have been more often exposed to asbestos, they are 4.6 times more likely to develop mesothelioma.
Of all diagnosed mesothelioma patients, over 90% are Caucasian. Just over 5% are Hispanic, while the remaining 5% are made up of all other races.
Additionally, the risk of developing mesothelioma is ten times higher for patients over the age of 60 compared to those under the age of 40.
Mesothelioma Facts Latency Period
Did you know that mesothelioma symptoms usually do not appear until 20-60 years following exposure? For men, the mean latency period is 47.9 years, while the mean latency period for women is 53.3 years.
Additionally, pleural mesothelioma has a more extended latency period of 30-60 years versus peritoneal at 20-40. Researchers have been unable to determine why.
Mesothelioma Facts: Where Does Mesothelioma Occur?
Most mesothelioma cases occur in the pleura, the tissue lining the lungs. Around 20% of cases occur in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdomen. In 1% of cases, cancer forms in the tissue lining of the heart called the pericardium. The rare form is testicular mesothelioma, occurring in less than 1% of patients. Here the cancer forms in the tunica vaginalis, the covering of the testes.
Mesothelioma Facts For Survival and Mortality Rates
The prognosis for mesothelioma tends to be worse when compared to other cancers. However, certain types of mesothelioma lend better to treatment and offer patients a better prognosis. For example, 50% of peritoneal mesothelioma patients who undergo aggressive treatment live longer than five years. While most patients survive for one year following their diagnosis, survival rates tend to drop after around 14 months.
Mesothelioma Facts Where Those Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Can Get The Help You Deserve
If you’ve developed mesothelioma as a result of working with asbestos, you may be owed compensation for the expenses related to your illness as well as the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office with your questions right away.