Knowing and understanding the new reported cases of mesothelioma can provide vital information to researchers about the patterns of the disease. Looking into the varying groups of people affected by mesothelioma also helps researchers study a major aspect of the disease’s epidemiology, which is the study of its origin. The data that is collected and studied will help researchers determine which populations are at the highest risk for getting cancer. Another extremely important factor in determining the frequency of mesothelioma is a group’s overall risk for the disease. Such details must be carefully considered.
Not only should researchers understand the origin of a disease such as mesothelioma, but also the mesothelioma causes. It is significant for cancer researchers to study asbestos-related characteristic patterns among patients in order to narrow down the reasons and factors that may have caused the disease.
The Frequency of Mesothelioma by Occupation
The primary cause of asbestos cancer, or mesothelioma, is exposure to asbestos. Workers in industries that widely used asbestos have reported the highest rates of a mesothelioma diagnosis. Occupations associated with extremely high mesothelioma cases include pipefitters, welders, and U.S. Navy veterans, those working in the construction industry, machinists, and electricians.
The Frequency of Mesothelioma in the USA
In the United States, certain geographical regions have naturally occurring amounts of the asbestos mineral. These areas have historically high rates of mesothelioma cases. This is because of the connection between asbestos exposure and serious lung conditions. Regions that contain asbestos mines are known for huge amounts of mesothelioma cases and deaths.
For example, one of the largest naturally occurring asbestos deposits is in California, which has more asbestos-related deaths than any other state in the country. Another hot spot for mesothelioma is New York City. After the Twin Towers collapsed following the 9/11 attacks, a gigantic toxic cloud spread throughout the city and exposed thousands of people to asbestos fibers in the air. Mesothelioma is surely becoming a huge concern for New York City. Many first response workers and cleanup workers already have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. It normally takes 20 to 50 years for the disease to show symptoms, yet there are cases in New York City were some exposed workers were diagnosed only 5 years after 9/11. One case reported a worker dying only two short years after starting a serious cough.
Regions in the US with High Rates of Mesothelioma
- Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
- Libby, Montana
- Manville, New Jersey
- Dunn County, North Dakota
- El Dorado Hills, California
- Clark County, Nevada
Trends in Mesothelioma Diagnosis
The peak of mesothelioma cases came in the 1990s. However, since the mid-1990s, mesothelioma rates have started to decline. Many are waiting to see how many people will continue to be affected by toxic asbestos exposure from the World Trade Center disaster in years to come.
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