The Australian Capital Territory reported a drop in new mesothelioma cases in 2017, although mesothelioma levels in Canberra are still at a record high. National mesothelioma levels have also dropped, and five-year survival rates have increased slightly.

Mesothelioma Levels Drop in ACT

2017 saw nine new cases of mesothelioma in the ACT, eight of which were men. This translates to 2.2 in 100,000 people being diagnosed with the disease. In comparison, 10 new cases were reported in 2016.  The figure for 2017 may continue to rise, however, as some cases are reported a year or more after the initial diagnosis.

Mesothelioma rates for Canberra men in particular sit at 3.9 people per 100,000, which is much higher than the 0.5 per 100,000 for women. Most Canberrans with mesothelioma can be linked to residents of Mr Fluffy homes. Out of 1023 Mr Fluffy Homes built in the city, only 69 have yet to be demolished.

Meanwhile, national mesothelioma levels have dropped further to 710 new diagnoses in 2017. This is the lowest count since 2011 and its 702 diagnoses. The five-year survival rate for mesothelioma has also risen from 4.8 per cent in 1985 to 6.2 per cent in 2017. Prognosis for the disease remains poor, however, as mesothelioma is often diagnosed at an advanced stage.

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