Mesothelioma Patterns in the United States

A recent study sheds some insight into the background rates of mesothelioma over the past several decades in the United States. The study looked at patterns for males and females in five age groups.

According to the study performed by Exponent Inc., a health sciences practice in New York City, mesothelioma rates remained relatively constant for young individuals. Rates of older age groups declined overtime and male rates were about five times greater than female rates for individuals 60 years of age and older. Overall rates of mesothelioma were higher among large shipyard areas located on the West Coast. In total, the background rate of the deadly cancer was found to be around one individual per million for the American citizens below the age of 50. Estimations for older ages will require additional studies.

The data for the study was collected via the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry and pertains to data collected between 1973 and 2002. SEER is a program dedicated to collecting and publishing cancer cases and survival data. The data they collect is exhaustive, and encompasses 26 percent of the United States population. The program has also taken considerable measures to unify the network of cancer registry systems so that population-based data may be more easily accessible. It is this accessibility that allowed the researchers to investigate these mesothelioma trends.