Women who are diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma usually have better odds of survival than men.
This was one of the findings of a study published in the Journal of Surgical Oncology. The researchers looked at data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare form of cancer the grows in the lining of the lungs. People with MPM might feel shortness of breath caused by fluid around the lung, chest pain, cough, and fatigue.
This cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos. This is a naturally occurring mineral found throughout the world. Even though it is toxic to humans, it is still used in manufactured materials in some parts of the world.
MPM occurs in about 2,000 people in the United States every year. Rates of pleural mesothelioma vary throughout the world and are highest in Australia and the United Kingdom. People are usually diagnosed over the age of 60, but MPM has occurred in people in their twenties.
Different Types of People
The researchers in this study wanted to learn more about how MPM affects different types of people. They used the SEER-Medicare database to find data on MPM cases diagnosed from 1992 to 2015. The study included 4,201 MPM patients.
In this group, about 80% of patients were men and 20% were women. The women in this group were older than the men and usually had the epithelioid cell-type of MPM. They also had better overall survival than the men in this group.
The researchers also found other factors that were linked to improved survival. People who were younger when they were diagnosed with MPM had better survival rates. This was also true for people in a committed relationship, better overall health, and who received surgery or chemotherapy.
The researchers in this study are hopeful that this information can guide future research on new treatment strategies.
Taioli E, Wolf A, Alpert N, Rosenthal D, Flores R. Malignant pleural mesothelioma characteristics and outcomes: A SEER-Medicare analysis [published online ahead of print, 2023 Mar 18]. J Surg Oncol. 2023;10.1002/jso.27243. doi:10.1002/jso.27243. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36932968/