Mesothelioma: Understanding the Risks

April 6, 2015 MikeM
Asbestos Lifeline Blog - Knowledge Is power

If you or a loved one have been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma you might feel isolated, afraid, and completely out of control. During these hard times it is crucial that you attain a thorough understanding of the disease. Staying well informed will better equip you for dealing with mesothelioma. If you are a friend or family member of an asbestos victim, being informed can help make you a stronger support system for the person you love who is battling this disease. Also, statistics can help provide patients with an idea of the success rates of specific therapies and the historic prevalence of the disease.

English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power,”. When it comes to understanding a diagnosis and its impact on health and life, that couldn’t be more true.This compilation of mesothelioma and asbestos statistics from around the web can help provide a framework and a jumping-off point for more in-depth personal research on the disease and its effects:

-Each year in the U.S., about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed.
Mesothelioma occurs more commonly among Caucasians and Hispanics than African Americans or Asians.

-The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with mesothelioma is between five and 10 percent; those diagnosed at younger ages and those with operable conditions have higher survival rates.

-A 1978 study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported at least 11 million people had been exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1978.

-According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20,000 mesothelioma deaths occurred between 1999 and 2005.

-The World Health Organization (WHO) says about 107,000 people die worldwide each year as a result of mesothelioma, and 125 million are exposed to asbestos at their workplaces.

-Asbestos production and use peaked in 1973 at 803,000 metric tons; by 2007, about 1,700 tons were used.

-Although asbestos cannot be mined in the U.S., it is still being imported.

When it comes to really understanding mesothelioma and its specific effects on your life or a loved ones, there’s no substitute for talking with your doctor about current mesothelioma research and connecting with others dealing with the disease through online or in-person support groups. Talking with medical professionals and peers is an incredibly empowering experience that can help you feel less alone and more in control. Ask your doctor about local support groups, or find one online; the American Cancer Society has a webpage devoted to online support groups to help you manage your disease and cope with its effects.