Mesothelioma Death and Mortality Rate
Death rates, also known as mortality rates, provide valuable information about a cancer's effect on specific geographical locations and groups of people. Death rate can be explained in several ways, but is most commonly expressed as the number of deaths per million people for a specific population. Mesothelioma death rates are often age-adjusted, which compensates for varying age distributions across the populations being compared.
Death rate and mortality rate may sound different, but they actually refer to the same thing: The number of deaths in general, or from a precise cause, in a specific group of people.
From 1999 to 2010, for example, the age-adjusted death rate for Americans 25 and older was 12.8 deaths per million people. For comparison, the country with the highest age-adjusted death rate from 1994 to 2008 was the United Kingdom with 17.8 deaths per million.
Overall, nearly 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the United States, which represents 0.02 percent of all U.S. cancer cases.
Mesothelioma Death Rate by Gender, United States, 1999-2010
For a variety of reasons, disease specialists did not track the death rates from asbestos cancers over a long period of time. It wasn't until 1999 that the U.S. government began classifying the diseases as a cause of death. This was mostly because doctors rarely discovered them until a post-mortem examination. This was also because pleural mesothelioma is so rare it often was mistaken for lung cancer or another respiratory disease.
Now that asbestos cancers are more well-known and diagnosed more accurately, their mortality rates are coming more into focus. However, the numbers are not positive, and some evidence suggests the death rates are decreasing over time.
CDC DatabaseThe most up-to-date information on asbestos-related death rates comes from CDC WONDER, an online database offered by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The database specifies the number of people who died from the disease over an 11-year period from 1999 to 2010.
Age-adjusted Death RatesBecause the latency period between the first exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of a related cancer is usually between 25 and 50 years, the death rates that follow include only people aged 25 years and older. Death rates are age-adjusted according to the 2000 U.S. standard population.
- Mesothelioma Death Rate by State, 1999-2010*
- Death Rate by Age, Gender and Race
- Mesothelioma Deaths by State, 1999-2010
- Mortality by Age, Gender and Race
Number of U.S. Malignant Mesothelioma Deaths 2004 - 2010
|Black/ African American||89||103||121||92||98||79||106||688|
|Asian/ Pacific Islander||18||23||13||28||29||30||24||165|
Is There a Mesothelioma Cure?
No cure for mesothelioma has been discovered, but advancements in treatment are helping people to live longer with this cancer. Current therapies and clinical trials are helping many people with early stage mesothelioma live at least three, five or more years. Some late-stage mesothelioma patients who participate in clinical trials are living around three years with innovative therapies like immunotherapy. People in otherwise good health with up to stage III mesothelioma may qualify for multimodal therapy that pairs aggressive surgery with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This combined approach attacks the cancer multiple ways to improve treatment results. Many people who receive multimodal therapy for mesothelioma live longer than the average one-year survival rate.