When one gets diagnosed with mesothelioma, they might ask themselves: How common is mesothelioma? That answer differs depending on the country, however, in the United States there are about 3,000 new cases a year. This means that mesothelioma is very rare in the United States. With a population of over 330,000,000 people, mesothelioma diagnosis represents a miniscule amount of the total population of the US. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which begins in the lining of the lungs.

Mesothelioma: 3,000 new cases a year in the United States

When it comes to all cancers, based on data from 2019, mesothelioma accounted for less than .2% of cancer diagnoses in the US, highlighting its rarity.

Mesothelioma is Caused by Asbestos

Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate material that was used in many industries, such as shipbuilding, construction, insulation, manufacturing, firefighting and more. It was attractive because of its heat resistance, tensile strength, and flexibility. You may think that there would not be cases of mesothelioma now in 2024, however, this is not the case. Due to mesothelioma’s latency period of around 40 years, mesothelioma victims normally do not present with symptoms until decades after exposure to asbestos.

How Common is Mesothelioma in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania records the third highest incidence rate of mesothelioma in the US. The incidence of mesothelioma in PA is about .8 cases per 100,00 people. The reason why the incidence of mesothelioma is higher in PA than most other states is most likely due to places like steel mills, power plants, and the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard that is in the state. Allegheny County in Pennsylvania has one of the highest mesothelioma incidence rates in the country. Which again, is probably due to the steel mills Pittsburgh is known for.

How Common is Mesothelioma in the UK?

Once finding out how common mesothelioma is in the US, you might ask yourself, well, how common is mesothelioma in other countries? In the United Kingdom, there are about 2,700 new cases of mesothelioma each year. It should be noted that the population in the UK is significantly smaller than that of the US, therefore, mesothelioma cases are more common in the UK than in the US. Mesothelioma makes up less than 1% of cancer cases each year in the UK.

How Common is Mesothelioma in Australia?

I highlight Australia because it has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world. Between 700-800 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in Australia. Again, it is important to note this number of people based on population size. Australia is made up of about 25 million people. Therefore, this is more of the population with mesothelioma than the US has.

How Common is Mesothelioma in Italy?

When it comes to Italy, it was predicted that deaths from mesothelioma would peak at 7,000 between the years of 2020 and 2024, despite banning asbestos decades ago. This highlights mesothelioma’s long latency period, as those who were exposed before the ban was put in place may be just starting to experience symptoms and getting a diagnosis.

Overall, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, but it is still very possible to get it. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure and those who develop it do not usually present with symptoms until decades later.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please call (800) 505-6000 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page for more information. We are here to help you navigate the legal process of your diagnosis.




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