Mesothelioma cancer occurs more commonly in men than in women, the ratio being 3:1. Studies have confirmed the association of mesothelioma cancer with exposure to asbestos. Nearly 60-80% of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer report a history of exposure to asbestos.
About 2500 to 4000 new cases of mesothelioma cancer are diagnosed every year in the U.S. alone with the international statistics being 0.9 per 100,000 persons. Exposure to asbestos through mining, milling, manufacturing, shipyard work, building construction works, insulation, brake linings, roofing materials and other asbestos related products (paints, pipes, textiles, gaskets, etc.) increase the risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
The treatment options for a mesothelioma cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a multimodality treatment. Without any treatment, mesothelioma cancer can be fatal within 4-8 months and most die within 18 months of diagnosis since it is fast growing and is at an advanced stage by the time it is diagnosed.
Why are we hearing so much about mesothelioma cancer in recent years? Because mesothelioma has a latency of up to thirty or forty years. This means that those who were exposed to asbestos may not experience any of the symptoms for a 30-40 year period.