Changing trends in US mesothelioma incidence

Of the major asbestos related diseases, mesothelioma is the most sensitive and specific indicator of the adverse health effects that have resulted from airborne exposures to asbestos fibres.

It is sensitive because it is likely that induction of this tumour can result from lower levels and duration of exposure than the other conditions, and specific because mesothelioma, a rare tumour, is estimated to be the result of asbestos exposure in a high proportion of cases. Asbestosis and asbestos attributable lung cancer have been found to be linked and, in the case of the former, has unquestionably become far less prevalent in recent decades-newly diagnosed cases being extremely rare-and, in the case of the latter, in the absence of asbestosis, is likely to be caused by cigarette smoking

This research reports the temporal pattern and change in trend of mesotheliomo incidence in the United States since 1973.

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, ond End Results (SEER) programme of the Nationol Cancer Institute has since 1973 provided annual age adiusted incidence for mesothelioma in representative cancer registries dispersed throughout the USA. SEER data are analysed to describe the trend of male mesothelioma incidence in the USA.

The US male mesothelioma incidence data indicate that after two decades of increasing incidence, likely decline has been observed since the early 1990s, when a highly significant change in the upword course occurred.

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