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Mesothelioma Incidence on the Rise in Some Countries

A recently published study conducted by the Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research in Australia has indicated that while the incidence of mesothelioma cancer is on the rise in some countries, it is declining in others, most notably in the United States.

The study, which was published in the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, shows that mesothelioma continues to be a major problem in both Australia and Great Britain, which are the two countries with the highest known incidence of the disease; in those countries it appears in approximately thirty out of every million citizens. But questions have also been raised about the accuracy or reporting in countries that are underdeveloped, where there is a question as to whether the disease is actually even diagnosed in order to make it onto mortality reports.

The report summarizes much of the data that has been collected by health organizations around the world. It confirms that the disease, which is caused by exposure to asbestos, is still seen most frequently in men, though the incidence of women contracting it as a result of exposure to men’s work clothing is on the rise. It also indicates that the number of men who are being diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of non-occupational exposure is also increasing.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is most frequently diagnosed in people when they are older. Statistically speaking it takes an average of forty years between the patient’s initial exposure to asbestos to diagnosis. The disease is still considered to be fatal, despite years of medical research devoted to finding a cure. Asbestos continues to be widely used in industrial settings in underdeveloped countries around the world, and as a result it is expected that the number of mesothelioma cases in those countries will continue to rise.

In the United States the use of asbestos has been largely banned but it is still widely used in many other countries. The incidence of mesothelioma diagnoses seems to be waning after hitting a high in 2005, but it is still expected that almost 100,000 new cases will be diagnosed over the next 35 to 40 years. Other developed countries, including Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Australia are not expected to hit their peak diagnosis years for approximately another 20 years, probably in the year 2030.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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