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Mesothelioma Statistics [Updated 2022]

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on August 8, 2022

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, following heart disease. One in every four deaths in the U.S. is from cancer.

While mesothelioma is not one of the most prevalent cancers, it has the highest mortality rates. Around 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the U.S. every year, accounting for only 0.3% of all cancer diagnoses. Continue reading to learn more from the Williams Law Firm.

U.S. Cancer Stats

  • From 2001 to 2020, cancer death rates decreased by 27%.
  • In 2020, 126,084 people died of lung cancer in the U.S., more than any other type of cancer.
  • The majority of those who died from cancer in 2020 were between 65-84 years old.
  • The National Cancer Institute statistics estimate that the cost of lung cancer treatment is at least $60,000 in just the first year.

U.S. Mesothelioma Statistics

Which Types of Mesothelioma Are Most Prevalent?

  • Pleural is the most common type of mesothelioma, making up about 70-79% of all mesothelioma cases.
  • Peritoneal is the second most common type, accounting for 10-30% of cases.
  • Pericardial makes up around 1% of mesothelioma cases.
  • Testicular mesothelioma is the most rare type, accounting for less than 1% of cases.

Mesothelioma Treatment Stats

  • Chemotherapy is the most common type of treatment for mesothelioma patients, with around 80% receiving chemo treatment.
  • There is an aggressive surgical treatment for pleural mesothelioma, but less than 20% of patients qualify.
  • Around 50% of patients who undergo HIPEC surgery live longer than 5 years.

2015-2019 Data

  • 15,485 new cases of mesothelioma were reported in the U.S.
  • 12,431 people died of mesothelioma in the U.S.
  • That means for every 100,000 people, 1 new mesothelioma case was reported and 1 person died.
  • Incidence rates for new mesothelioma cases decrease every year, due to a decrease in asbestos exposure.

number of new mesothelioma cases in america 2015-2019

Mesothelioma Survival Rates

Below are the median survival times for pleural mesothelioma:

  • Stage 1: 22.2 months
  • Stage 2: 20 months
  • Stage 3: 17.9 months
  • Stage 4: 14.9 months

In general, the average life expectancy for patients with mesothelioma is 12-31 months after being diagnosed.

Mesothelioma Latency Periods

Latency period refers to the amount of time between being exposed to a carcinogen and the onset of cancer symptoms. Mesothelioma has a particularly long latency period compared to other cancers.

  • It can take anywhere from 10-50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to develop
  • The average latency period overall is 35-40 years
  • The average latency period for men is 30-40 years
  • The average latency period for women is 50+ years


  • Men are 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than women.
  • The average age for a mesothelioma diagnosis among women is 71; for men the average age is 75. 
  • Mesothelioma death rates are highest in the Northern United States (Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest).
  • Around 90-95% of diagnosed mesothelioma patients are white.

New York Mesothelioma Stats

New Cancer Cases in New York (2019)

Brain and Other Nervous System 1,365
Cervix 812
Colon and Rectum 8,918
Corpus and Uterus, NOS 4,204
Esophagus 1,124
Female Breast 17,730
Hodgkin Lymphoma 654
Kaposi Sarcoma 122
Kidney and Renal Pelvis 4,241
Larynx 721
Leukemias 3,548
Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct 2,159
Lung and Bronchus 14,156
Melanomas of the Skin 4,444
Mesothelioma 160
Myeloma 2,010
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 5,097
Oral Cavity and Pharynx 2,872
Ovary 1,399
Pancreas 3,677
Prostate 16,730
Stomach 2,046
Testis 568
Thyroid 4,089
Urinary Bladder 5,449

New York Demographics

Of the 160 new mesothelioma cases in New York in 2019:

  • 110 of those cases were male and 50 were female. This is normal, as mesothelioma affects men more than women at around an 80/20 ratio.
  • 138 cases were white patients, 17 were Hispanic, and the rest were unknown. This is also normal, as mesothelioma affects these two races more then the Black and Asian communities.

number of mesothelioma deaths in america 2015-2019

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Many lawsuits are filed each year to hold accountable parties responsible for asbestos exposure.

  • In 2020 there were 1,827 mesothelioma lawsuits filed. That’s a 14.3% decrease from 2019, which had 2,133 lawsuits.
  • In 2019, the average dollar amount per companies’ resolved asbestos claims increased by 25% from the year prior.
  • In general, the average mesothelioma settlement is $1 million and the average trial verdict is $2.4 million.

If you or a loved one has been severely affected by asbestos exposure, our New York mesothelioma attorney can help.




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