Who Does Mesothelioma Affect the Most?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects men more than women. It is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 45, with 75% of those diagnosed being 65 or older. This is likely due to the fact that men are more likely to work in jobs with heavy exposure to asbestos, the main risk factor for mesothelioma. Asbestos is a mineral fiber used in insulating and fire retardant materials before the 1970s, and although its use has been banned for over 30 years, occupations such as mining, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, insulators, and remodelers of old houses are still at high risk of exposure.

Mesothelioma can be divided into different types depending on the part of the mesothelium affected. The most common type is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the lungs. Other, more rare types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart, and around the testicles. Signs and symptoms of other types of mesothelioma are not clear since these forms of the disease are very rare.

How long a person lives after being diagnosed with mesothelioma depends on many factors, including their age. The number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States is no longer increasing as it had in previous decades and is now declining slightly in men. The relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma is now well known, but it is still used in some products. Treatment for mesothelioma may require a team of medical professionals such as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, and other specialists depending on the site of the primary tumor.

About 1% of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have inherited a genetic mutation from one of their parents that puts them at greater risk of developing the disease. Knowing key statistics about mesothelioma can help you better understand this rare disease, make more informed decisions about your health, and raise awareness. Symptoms of mesothelioma usually take 10 to 50 years to develop after exposure to asbestos, increasing the average age at diagnosis. Malignant mesothelioma may first be detected as swelling or mass in a testicle if it affects the tissue surrounding the testicles.

Other factors such as genes or past radiation treatments may make someone more likely to develop mesothelioma when exposed to asbestos.In general, only a small fraction of people exposed to asbestos or other causative agents of mesothelioma actually develop the disorder.

Marissa Trafford
Marissa Trafford

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