Australia has one of the highest measured incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world (Bray et al. 2017). Each year in Australia, between 700 and 800 people are diagnosed with the rare and aggressive cancer. In the 2018–19 financial year, the estimated health system expenditure for mesothelioma cases was $27.4m (total cancers $11.8 billion) (AIHW 2021).

Men were more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than women across all age groups, and the number of cases diagnosed each year for both men and women has steadily increased over the past 40 years. There is no cure for mesothelioma. The main cause is exposure to asbestos—a material that has been banned in Australia since 2003.

This report presents the latest available statistics from the Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR), supplemented by data from the National Mortality Database (NMD), the Australian Cancer Database (ACD) and the National Death Index (NDI).

The AMR collects information on new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in Australia since 1 July 2010. The Registry’s main goals are to better understand the relationship between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, to assist in the development of policies to best deal with asbestos still in the environment, and to provide reliable information to policy makers and researchers. For more information on the AMR, see Mesothelioma in Australia 2020: methodology paper.