Mesothelioma in Australia 2020

Mesothelioma in Australia 2020

CPD Hours: 1.5
Current as at 06 June 2022
Australia has one of the highest measured incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world. Each year in Australia, between 700 and 800 people are diagnosed with this rare and aggressive cancer. In the 2018–19 financial year, the estimated health system expenditure for mesothelioma cases was $27.4m (total cancers $11.8 billion).

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Explore the incidence of Mesothelioma in Australia

Course Content

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly lethal tumour that primarily arises from the pleura and, to a lesser extent, from the peritoneum. In sporadic cases, it originates from the pericardium or tunica vaginalis testis. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) represents over 90% of all MM cases. The main cause is exposure to asbestos—a material that has been banned in Australia since 2003. MPM prognosis is very poor, with a median overall survival (OS) of approximately 1year when treated with chemotherapy. Recently, combination checkpoint inhibition therapy, and anti-cytotoxic therapy, have been shown to increase OS in patients with MPM compared with standard first-line chemotherapy. Having said that, there is no cure for mesothelioma.

Australia has one of the highest measured incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world. Each year in Australia, between 700 and 800 people are diagnosed with this rare and aggressive cancer. In the 2018–19 financial year, the estimated health system expenditure for mesothelioma cases was $27.4m (total cancers $11.8 billion).

Men were more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than women across all age groups, and the number of cases diagnosed each year for both men and women has steadily increased over the past 40 years. Predicting the future incidence of MM is difficult due to the considerable variation in latency time (i.e., the time between asbestos exposure and MM diagnosis) that has been reported, varying between 10 years and over 50 years.

The asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) have been banned in Australia since 2003 (10 years after ACMs were banned in Europe), and it is now illegal to make, use or import ACM.

This report presents the latest available statistics from the Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR), supplemented by data from the National Mortality Database (NMD), the Australian Cancer Database (ACD) and the National Death Index (NDI).

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Explore the incidence of Mesothelioma in Australia
  • Review the causes of Mesothelioma
  • Investigate the survival rate for people diagnosed with Mesothelioma
  • Gain an understanding of the occupational risk for Mesothelioma

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