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Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 2, 2024 ·  3 min read

It’s One of The Deadliest Cancers In America, And It’s On The Rise. These 10 States Have The Highest Rates

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that has gained notoriety as one of the deadliest cancers in America. It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a known carcinogen. Despite efforts to regulate asbestos usage, the widespread exposure in the past has led to a concerning rise in mesothelioma cases. Let’s take a deep-dive into this scary cancer to gain an understanding of mesothelioma, explore the 10 states with the highest rates, and most importantly explore what can be done to combat this deadly disease.

Understanding Mesothelioma

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Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor that affects the mesothelial tissue lining the organs of the body. This includes the pleura (lung lining), peritoneum (abdominal cavity lining), pericardium (heart lining), and the tissues surrounding the testes. It can be either malignant (cancerous) or non-cancerous. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, which are inhaled and become lodged in the pleura. Over time, these fibers cause inflammation and scarring that can lead to cancerous growths. It can take 20 to even 50 years before symptoms develop. (1)

According to data between 1999 and 2018, an average of 3,128 new cases of malignant mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. The disease predominantly affects males, with pleural mesothelioma being the most common type, accounting for approximately 82% of all mesothelioma patients.

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The 10 States with the Highest Rates and Why

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The prevalence of mesothelioma varies across different states in the United States. The following 10 states have the highest rates (2):

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. New York
  5. Texas
  6. Illinois
  7. Ohio
  8. New Jersey
  9. Michigan
  10. Massachusetts

These states have high rates of mesothelioma due to various factors. Some of the reasons include historical asbestos exposure from industries such as shipbuilding, manufacturing, construction, and mining. Additionally, population density, occupational exposure, and the presence of aging infrastructure with asbestos-containing materials contribute to the higher rates found in these states.

What Can Be Done

Asbestos insulation Danger to the body.
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While mesothelioma is a devastating disease, there are steps that can be taken to address the issue and provide support to those affected:

1. Raising Awareness

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Educating the public about the risks of asbestos exposure and the importance of early detection can help in reducing the number of new cases. This includes disseminating information through campaigns, educational programs, and community initiatives.

2. Strict Regulations

Close up asbestos, fibers, mask, filter, gloves and goggles. Bag in background. Barrier tape, warning forbidden acces, hazard. Asbestos removal. Asbestosis, lungcancer, mesothelioma. Protection
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Continued efforts to regulate asbestos use are crucial in preventing further exposure. Implementing and enforcing strict guidelines regarding asbestos handling and removal can help reduce the risk for workers and the general population.

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3. Support for Patients

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Providing comprehensive support to mesothelioma patients and their families is essential. This includes access to specialized healthcare professionals, treatment options, financial assistance, and emotional and psychological support.

4. Research and Treatment Advancements

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Investing in research for more effective treatment options and early detection methods is vital. Advancements in medical science may lead to improved outcomes and increased survival rates for mesothelioma patients.

The Bottom Line

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Mesothelioma is an aggressive and lethal cancer that continues to affect individuals across the United States, with rates on the rise. Understanding the causes, risk factors, and states with the highest prevalence is crucial in addressing this public health issue. By raising awareness, implementing strict regulations, providing support to patients, and focusing on research and treatment advancements, we can strive towards reducing the impact of mesothelioma and improving the lives of those affected by this devastating disease.

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  1. Legal Help for Families Affected by Asbestos.” My Mesothelioma
  2. Mesothelioma in the United States.” Mesothelioma