Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining that covers the outer surface of the lungs, heart, stomach and other organs.
Pleural mesothelioma, which develops on the lining that covers the lungs and chest, is the most common type of mesothelioma. Hence, its aspects, including its diagnosis rates, are widely studied.
Here is what you should know:
A study that analyzed data from 9,511 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients, collected through the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) database from 2004 to 2019, confirmed most cases were male (7, 384/77.6%) and 8,635/90.8% were of white race. 6,215/65.3% were 70 years and above at diagnosis, and 6,703/70.5% presented with distant disease.
The overall incident rate decreased from 2004 to 2019 (7.7 per million to 6.1 per million). However, cases of epithelioid mesothelioma increased.
Further, over the years, a significant percentage of cases were diagnosed at localized and regional stages, which means they hadn’t spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes.
Diagnosis rates after 2019
According to the American Cancer Society, as of 2023, about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are reported every year in the U.S. These reduced rates can be associated with changes in workplace exposure to asbestos.
Employers observe stringent laws to keep employees safe. For instance, the use of asbestos is strictly regulated. Besides, workers like firefighters (most old buildings have materials that contain asbestos), and those in the construction industry (some modern building materials may still contain asbestos), are required to wear standard personal protective equipment.
The above-discussed diagnosis rates show mesothelioma cases are decreasing as the years go by. However, asbestos exposure is still an issue. If you developed mesothelioma due to work duties, you should obtain adequate information about your case to receive just compensation.