If you’ve received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you’ve likely been told the condition is rare. Because of that, it’s not always easy to find information that’s easily digestible. That’s why we’ve compiled mesothelioma statistics to help patients better understand their condition. Let’s start by taking a look at how the cancer affects those in the United States.
Mesothelioma in the United States
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) compiled data from the National Program for Cancer Registries and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program to calculate incident rates and annual percent change for mesothelioma in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, United States. From 2003 to 2008, an average of 1.05 mesothelioma cases per 100,000 persons were diagnosed annually in the United States—which equates to more than 3,000 people.
While mesothelioma cases develop in Hawaii, the numbers are below the national average. It’s estimated that 0.58 to 0.82 per 100,000 will receive an official diagnosis. That puts the average number of cases per year in Hawaii below the 25th percentile nationwide.
Fortunately, because of federal restrictions and workplace safety initiatives, mesothelioma diagnoses are on the decline. According to the National Cancer Institute, 0.20% of all cancer diagnoses in the U.S. were mesothelioma. The following year, the rate was down to 0.17%
In addition to the 3,000 new mesothelioma cases per year, it’s estimated that 2,500 patients die annually from the condition. Prognoses are based on a number of factors, including exposure length, age, and more.
Where Mesothelioma Occurs in the Body
There are four different types of mesothelioma, which are differentiated by where they originate in the body. The location of the cancer affects how the disease develops and what a patient’s treatment options are.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common, as it accounts for 80 to 90% of all diagnoses. This cancer develops in the linings of the lungs. It’s estimated that 2,500 patients receive this diagnosis on a yearly basis.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common type of the cancer. It accounts for approximately 15 to 20% of all diagnoses. With only 500 diagnoses occurring per year, this cancer develops in the abdominal lining.
Pericardial and testicular mesothelioma account for one percent and less than one percent of diagnoses, respectively. With fewer than 50 diagnoses per year, pericardial mesothelioma develops in the lining of the heart. Testicular mesothelioma develops in the lining of the testicles. There are only 100 cases described in medical literature.
Asbestos Exposure and Demographic Factors
While anyone who has been exposed to asbestos can develop cancer, the typical mesothelioma patient is a man older than 65 with a labor or military background. Some of the most at-risk occupations include construction, firefighting, manufacturing, chemical refining, power generation, shipbuilding, and military service.
It’s estimated that 80% of mesothelioma incidences occur in men. For the women that make up the rest of the diagnosed, they typically develop the condition as a result of secondhand exposure.
In regard to race and ethnicity, the majority, 93.2%, of mesothelioma patients are white. The remaining incidents include 5.5% Hispanic, 4.7% African American, and 1.2% Asian/Pacific Islander.
Latency Period and Survival Rates of Mesothelioma
In order to understand a mesothelioma prognosis, it’s important to first understand the average latency period. The latency period is the length of time between asbestos exposure and the onset of symptoms. While it can take anywhere from ten to 50 years for patients to develop symptoms, the average latency period is between 35 and 40 years. It’s important to note that there is no significant statistical difference with symptoms development between pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients.
Even with an average latency period, there are factors that affect it. Patient characteristics and occupation are two common factors. For example, the average latency period to a male mesothelioma patient is 30 to 40 years, while the average latency period for a female patient is more than 50 years. Additionally, it’s been noted that construction workers tend to have a shorter latency period than shipyard workers.
Once a patient understands when they were exposed to asbestos in relation to when they started experiencing symptoms, it’s time to understand the prognosis. According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rates for the different types of mesothelioma are as follows:
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: a one-year survival rate of about 92% and a five-year survival rate of about 65%
- Pleural mesothelioma: a one year survival rate of about 73% and a five-year survival rate of about 5%
- Pericardial mesothelioma: a one-year survival rate of 51%, with an average life expectancy of around six months
- Testicular mesothelioma: a median survival of 20 to 23 months
It’s important to note that the timeframes above only apply to the stage of cancer when it is first diagnosed. If the cancer grows or spreads, the prognosis will change. Additionally, the numbers don’t take into account a patient’s overall health or age, or how well the cancer responds to treatment.
Representing Mesothelioma Victims
If you’ve received a mesothelioma diagnosis, it’s likely you were exposed to asbestos and may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The Frost Law Firm, PC represents mesothelioma victims in Hawaii as well as around the country. If you believe negligence contributed to your diagnosis, we can help you file a claim to seek monetary recovery.
While we understand compensation will not change your diagnosis, it will help you take care of your medical bills and ensure the negligent party is held accountable for their actions. Because of the complexity of mesothelioma claims, it’s important to get in touch with our law firm as soon as possible. When you schedule a case review with us, our Hawaii mesothelioma lawyers will review what you’ve been through and help you decide how best to proceed. Contact us today for more information.