Published on March 11, 2022
A just-published study of the incidence of malignant pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in the Dutch population reveals an unexpected drop in the number of cases since a national ban was put in place in 1993. The study’s authors were surprised to find that the decrease in incidence of the asbestos-related disease began in 2010, far earlier than experts had predicted. They attribute the rapid shift to regulatory changes in levels of occupational asbestos exposure.
Researchers Use Dutch Cancer Registry to Conduct Mesothelioma Study
Relying upon data collected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry on diagnosed patients from 1993 to 2018, researchers from the Erasmus MC Kanker Instituut in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam identified 12,168 mesothelioma and patient incidence, treatment patterns, and survival outcomes in the disease.
Publishing their findings in the journal Thoraxthey reported that mesothelioma patients were largely male and diagnosed with the epithelioid subtype and were diagnosed at a rate of between 2.6 and 4.1 cases decreased per 100,000, with the incidence increasing at 1.6% annually up to 2010, “after which a non-significant , or plateau, was observed.”
Unexpected Decrease in Cases of Mesothelioma Offers Hope
The group reported that the incidence of mesothelioma had increased at a rate of 1.8% per year from 1989 to 2007, but significantly decreased after that in patients of all ages except for those older than 80 years, for whom the incidence increased at an average rate of 3.3%. Mesothelioma incidence in males 54 and younger showed an average annual decrease of 6.2% between 1989 and 2018, and between the ages of 55 and 64 showed a significant declining incidence between 2009 and 2018 of 9.4%. Males aged 65-79 showed a significant increase of 3.4% between 1989 and 2006, after which their numbers decreased.
The group found a strong trend towards decline in mesothelioma throughout the population since 2010, a shift that they called “remarkable,” in part because it was not expected until 2020. They attribute the change to measures that were implemented around the use of asbestos before The material was officially banned in 1993. Government regulation in 1978 resulted in a “decrease of approximately 75% in the amount of asbestos that was processed in the Netherlands in the 1980s compared with the 1970s.”
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.
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