What Are the Key Statistics About Malignant Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is fairly rare in the United States, with about 3,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.

The rate of mesotheliomas in the United States increased from the 1970s to the early 1990s, but since then it has leveled off and even gone down slightly. These changes have largely been seen in men, and are probably related to changes over time in workplace exposures to asbestos. (See “ What are the risk factors for malignant mesothelioma?”) The rate of mesothelioma is lower in women and has been fairly steady for some time. In many other countries, the rate of mesothelioma is still increasing.

Mesothelioma is more common in whites and Hispanics/Latinos than in African Americans or Asian Americans.

Mesotheliomas are much more common in older people than younger people. The average age at the time of diagnosis for pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma in the chest) is 69.

Information on survival rates can be found in the section “ Survival statistics for mesothelioma.”

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: May 18, 2015 Last Revised: February 17, 2016

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