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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 White, Hispanic, and Latino people 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.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 2.2018 -- February 26, 2018. Accessed at www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/mpm.pdf on October 17, 2018.
Jain SV, Wallen JM. Cancer, Mesothelioma, Malignant. StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan-.2018 Jul 18.
Last Revised: January 9, 2019