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Mesothelioma Statistics & Facts
Mesothelioma is a complex disease that is affected by a number of different variables. Reviewing mesothelioma statistics can help patients to better understand these variables and thus make more educated decisions about their treatment options. Exposure to asbestos-containing materials has been directly linked to mesothelioma and is the primary cause of this disease.
- The first diagnosis of mesothelioma that was conclusively linked to asbestos exposure was made in 1964.
- Mesothelioma develops in three major histologic types: epithelial, sarcomatoid and biphasic.
- The number of mesothelioma cases is expected to peak worldwide around 2020.
- More than 50 percent of patients can expect to be involved with emerging clinical trials.
- As of 2011, there have been over 175 clinical trials conducted related to mesothelioma. Click here to view a comprehensive list of clinical trials currently accepting mesothelioma patients.
- Other asbestiform minerals such as erionite have been linked to mesothelioma. In the Turkish village of Tuzkoy, over half of the villagers have died of respiratory malfunctions including mesothelioma.
- Patients typically experience a latency period of 25 to 50 years after initial exposure before symptoms arise. Less than 1 percent of patients have a latency period shorter than 15 years.
- Around 14 to 30 people out of every million will be affected by mesothelioma each year.
- The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that 11 million people were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1978.
- Approximately 50 percent of patients will experience a life span of 8 to 18 months after treatment. About 30 percent or more have a chance of living five years or longer.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis Facts
|Stage of Diagnosis||Life Span in Months|
|Stage I||32 months|
|Stage II||19 months|
|Stage III||13 months|
|Stage IV||6.5 months|
- More than 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year.
- The disease is commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 50 and 70 years.
- Males are four times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than females.
- Three-fourths of cases develop in the pleura. About 10 to 20 percent form in the abdomen.
- Mesothelioma is diagnosed in stages, ranging from I to IV. The higher stage numbers signify a more advanced case.
- Computed tomography (CT scans) and positron emission tomography (PET scans) are the preferred imaging scans for diagnosing mesothelioma. Biopsies are usually the first diagnostic test used in order to detect the presence of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Treatment Facts
- Doctors advocate that patients should eat 50 percent more protein and 20 percent more calories than normal during chemotherapy treatment.
- Patients receiving chemotherapy usually undergo two to three cycles of treatment, each lasting three weeks and are then reevaluated.
- Cisplatin and pemetrexed, the two most common chemotherapeutic drugs for mesothelioma, are administered for one to two hours every three weeks.
- Radiation is typically administered five days a week for several weeks. Each treatment is usually given in short bursts of one to five minutes and is designed to kill cancerous cells while not harming nearby healthy cells.
- Common side effects of mesothelioma treatment include sore throat, nausea, hair loss and pneumonitis.