Who is Affected?
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer. In the United States., approximately 3,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Exposure to asbestos particles is the major risk factor, with higher exposure load yielding greater risk of acquiring the disease.
Despite a substantial drop in asbestos use over the last few decades, a steady stream of people are still being diagnosed with this asbestos-related cancer because it can take between 15 and 40 years from the time of asbestos exposure before symptoms of malignant mesothelioma begin to appear.
More minor risk factors include previous radiation treatment to the chest or abdomen, genetic and environmental factors, as well as older age and gender, with Mesothelioma being more common in men than in women.