Mesothelioma is a usually fatal cancer which typically occurs 20 to 30 years after exposure to asbestos. All new cases of mesothelioma are notified to State Cancer Registries, as mesothelioma is a notifiable disease. These data are collected nationally by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in the National Cancer Statistics Clearing House. Information on deaths from mesothelioma is also collected by the AIHW as part of the National Mortality Database.
Access to these data sources has allowed us to report the number and incidence rates of new cases and deaths from mesothelioma by both age and sex. In addition, trends over time have been reported from 1982 to 2004 for the number of new cases, and from 1997 to 2005 for the number of deaths.
Data from these sources will be reported annually rather than reporting on data obtained from the Australian Mesothelioma Register, as occurred previously.