Quoted from http://www.chestnet.org/accp/article/chest-physician/update-mesothelioma
Update on Mesothelioma
CHEST Physician Article | 02.16.12
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an orphan disease that has been challenging researchers and clinicians since it was first recognized as a distinct disease entity in the 1960s. There are approximately 3,500 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed yearly in the United States. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for approximately 80% of cases, peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for 10% to 15% of cases, and there are rare reports of cases originating in the pericardium, testes, and tunica vaginalis.
Asbestos exposure has been directly linked to the development of malignant mesothelioma. The male to female incidence of mesothelioma is reported as 4:1, due largely to workplace exposure to asbestos. Secondhand exposure, due to fibers brought home on clothing and non-workplace exposure during home remodeling/ repair, often leads to a diagnosis at a younger age rather than the average age of diagnosis, which is reported as 70 years…. The latency period from exposure, primarily to asbestos, to the development of disease has been reported to be between 20 and 60 years.