Mesothelioma is fairly rare in the United States. About 3,000 new cases are 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 in workplace exposures to asbestos. (See 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 of people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma in the chest) is 72.
Information on survival rates can be found in Survival Statistics for Malignant Mesothelioma.
Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.
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Last Revised: January 9, 2019