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A Look at Occurrences of Mesothelioma in Patients 40 and Younger

Mesothelioma is commonly understood to be a disease that develops later in life due to its long latency period. Although not as prevalent, persons 40 years old and younger are diagnosed with mesothelioma. This is because it can take as little as 10 years for mesothelioma to develop after exposure to asbestos.

A study published on June 10, 2015 in Impact Journals compares statistics relating to disease occurrence in younger versus older patients. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database provides data from cancer registries across the United States. The SEER database included 12345 patients with mesothelioma diagnosed from 1990 to 2010. Only 207 of those patients were 40 or younger, with the remaining 12138 patients being over the age of 40.

In patients 40 and younger, 47% of patients were diagnosed with pleural disease and 48% were diagnosed with peritoneal disease. In older patients, pleural mesothelioma accounted for about 90% of diagnoses. Also, in younger patients, disease occurrence was distributed close to even between men (51%) and women (49%), while in older patients, men account for approximately 80% of mesothelioma diagnoses.

Although mesothelioma in patients 40 and under account for only about 2% of diagnoses, they tend to have more promising outcomes. Patients 40 and under tend to be better candidates for surgery, and have significantly better prognosis at 38 months as compared to 8 months for older patients.

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