Key Mesothelioma Facts
If you have been diagnosed with malignant (cancerous) mesothelioma, you may not fully know how you developed the disease, why it’s dangerous, or what your treatment options are.
Mesothelioma statistics can help you and your loved ones better understand this rare cancer and what options are available to you.
Important mesothelioma statistics include:
- Most cases of malignant mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This cancer-causing mineral was once used in construction materials, insulation, and hundreds of other products.
- There are four main types of mesothelioma depending on where the cancer develops in the body.
- Pleural mesothelioma: This type develops in the lining of the lungs (pleura). It accounts for 70-85% of all cases.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: This type of mesothelioma starts in the linings of the abdomen (peritoneum). 10-25% of people are diagnosed with this type of mesothelioma.
- Pericardial mesothelioma: This rare form of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the heart (pericardium). It makes up less than 1% of all cases.
- Testicular mesothelioma: This is an extremely rare form of mesothelioma, with only a few hundred cases reported. It develops in the lining of the testicles (tunica vaginalis).
- Mesothelioma typically develops 20-50 years after exposure to asbestos fibers, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
- Mesothelioma symptoms — such as a dry cough, difficulty breathing, and unexplained weight loss — typically start off mild and gradually worsen over time.
- Symptoms of mesothelioma may not even appear until the cancer has spread throughout the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Mesothelioma has no cure and is almost always fatal. However, some people diagnosed with this cancer have gone on to achieve long-term survivorship with medical treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Learn more important mesothelioma cancer statistics below.