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Mesotheliomas are uncommon, but not rare; 60-90 cases are diagnosed per year in British Columbia.


Annual incidence is estimated at 1-2 per 100,000 per year. Mesothelioma is approximately five times more common in men than women. 


Incidence rises with age and is approximately 10-fold higher in men between the ages of 60 and 64 years than among those between 30 and 34 years. The median age of diagnosis is 60 years, and is determined by the age at the time of asbestos exposure rather than other factors.


Adverse prognostic factors include: poor performance status, advanced stage, leukocytosis, male gender, sarcomatoidhistology, and presence of chest pain. Median survival is 10-12 months, and two-year survival rate is 15-20%. The presence of three or more adverse prognostic factors reduces median survival to < 6 months. Median survival of stage I disease has been reported to be 16 months. A minority of cases can be indolent and associated with survival for several years, independent of treatment. However, reports of long-term disease-free survivors are anecdotal.


  1. Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013. Toronto, ON, 2013

  2. Chailleux E, Dabouis G, Pioche D, et al: Prognostic factors in diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma: a study of 167 patients. Chest 1988;93:159-162.  

  3. Curran D, Sahmoud T, Therasse P, et al. Prognostic factors in patients with pleural mesothelioma: the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer experience. J Clin Oncol 1998;16:145-52

  4. Ruffie P, Feld R, Minkin S, et al: Diffuse malignant mesothelioma of the pleura in Ontario and Quebec: a retrospective study of 332 patients. J Clin Oncol 1989;7:1157-1168.  

SOURCE: Demographics ( )
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