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Epidemiology of mesothelioma

From Medicineworld.org: Epidemiology of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma main FAQs History  

Malignant mesothelioma predominantly occurs in the pleural surface of the lung and chest wall. Other less common sites of malignant mesothelioma includes peritoneum of the abdomen, pericardium that covers the heart and covering of the testis. Asbestos is the predominant cause of pleural, peritoneal, and probably testicular mesothelioma in human beings.

The exact number of Americans exposed to asbestos is unknown, however reasonable estimates show that between 1940 and 1979, approximately 27.5 million people were occupationally exposed to asbestos in the United States. Calculated annual death rate from mesothelioma of about 2,000 in 1980 up to 3,000 in the late 1990s (Ref 1). This number may not be accurate since there are many difficulties in making a diagnosis of mesothelioma. It is possible that many cases of mesothelioma are misdiagnosed as adenocarcinoma of the lung, since it is often difficult to differentiate between these two conditions. A reasonable estimate of the annual incidence of plural mesothelioma in the United States would be about 2200 new cases (Ref 57). The age-adjusted incidence of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in the United States is around 14.2 per million per year. There has been a three-fold increase in incidence of pleural mesothelioma in Caucasian males between 1973 and 1984. (Ref 2). In the United States mesothelioma is four times more common in males compared to women (Ref 2). This may reflect an increased incidence of occupational exposure in males compared to females. Incidence of mesothelioma increases steadily with age. Incidence is 10 fold higher in men in the age group 60 to 64 compared to men in the age group 30 to 34. There is a wide geographical variation in the incidence of mesothelioma within the United States. This reflects the past existence of asbestos related industries and degree of exposure to asbestos in such facilities.

Since the may people who had asbestos exposure in the young adult age are at old age and developing mesothelioma, the incidence of mesothelioma is increasing in the United States. The incidence of mesothelioma has increased by about 50 during the last decade. It is likely that we are going through the peak incidence rate of mesothelioma at this time, and the incidence of mesothelioma may show some decline over the next decade (Ref 3).

References:
1. Nicholson WJ, Perkel G, Selikoff IJ. Occupational exposure to asbestos: population at risk and projected mortality-1980-2030. Am J Indust Med 1982;3:259.

2. Connelly RR, Spirtas R, Myers MH, et al. Demographic patterns for mesothelioma in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst 1987;78:1053.

3. Price B. Analysis of current trends in United States mesothelioma incidence. Am J Epidemiol 1997;145:211.

Did you know?
Malignant mesothelioma predominantly occurs in the pleural surface of the lung and chest wall. Other less common sites of malignant mesothelioma includes peritoneum of the abdomen, pericardium that covers the heart and covering of the testis. Asbestos is the predominant cause of pleural, peritoneal, and probably testicular mesothelioma in human beings.

Medicineworld.org: Epidemiology of mesothelioma

Chemotherapy| Clinical features| Staging| Diagnosis| Risk to family members| Epidemiology| FAQs| Gene therapy| History of asbestos| History of mesothelioma| Mechanism| Mesothelioma main| Mechanisms| Unusual types| Molecular basis| Multimodality treatment| Natural history| Radiation therapy| Staging of pleural mesothelioma| Surgical control of pleural effusion| Surgical treatment of malignant mesothelioma| Who are at high risk for development of mesothelioma?|

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