Two new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed every day in Australia, with one of the poorest survival rates of any cancer.
Over 700 Australians were diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017—equating to 2 cases diagnosed per day—according to the latest data released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Mesothelioma in Australia, is the first report on the subject since the AIHW took over management of the Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR) in 2017.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer in the mesothelium—the protective lining on the inside of body cavities and the outside of internal organs, such as the lungs, heart and bowel. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer, and its primary cause is exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma has a very poor prognosis. It is often diagnosed once it has reached the advanced stages, as early symptoms can go unnoticed or be mistaken as symptoms for other, less serious conditions.
Mesothelioma survival rates are very low and this has not changed over time.The five-year survival rate is less than 6%.The average time between diagnosis and death is around 11 months according to analysis of all mesothelioma diagnoses and deaths recorded in the Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR).