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 2019–20 financial year, the estimated health system expenditure for mesothelioma cases was $32.1 million (total cancers $12.1 billion) (AIHW 2022).

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 with the main cause being from exposure to asbestos – a material that has been banned in Australia since the end of 2003 (ASEA 2016). It can take many years after being exposed to asbestos (between 20 and 60 years) for mesothelioma to develop (Cancer Council 2019a).

This report presents the latest available statistics from the Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR), supplemented by data from the National Mortality Database (NMD) and the Australian Cancer Database (ACD). Note that in this report, incidence data includes cases of mesothelioma notified up until 1 June 2023. This extraction date differs from previous reports. For further information see Mesothelioma in Australia 2022 – methodology paper.