There are many reasons why one gender may be more likely to suffer certain types of cancer than the other. Just as hormonal factors make women more likely to suffer breast cancer, environmental factors have caused a greater number of men to suffer from lung cancer.
But when it comes to mesothelioma, men are overwhelmingly more likely to succumb to the disease than women.
Why Are Men More Likely to Develop Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma—an aggressive asbestos-related cancer that begins in the lungs, abdomen, or heart—is four times more likely to affect men than women. Between 1999 and 2015, male patients accounted for 36,093 of 45,221 malignant mesothelioma deaths in the United States, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all victims.
From life expectancy to work-related risk factors, men are more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma due to:
- Date of employment. It can take anywhere from 20–to–50 years after initial exposure for a person to show symptoms of mesothelioma. During this time, men were more likely to be the breadwinners of the family, increasing their chances of suffering exposure on the job than women—and many safety rules about the use of asbestos had yet to be enacted.
- Industry. Professions and occupations that use asbestos are the traditionally male-dominated industries, making men more likely to suffer daily exposure. Men who previously worked in oil refineries, steel mills, construction sites, mines, plumbing or pipe fitting, or shipbuilding and repair have higher risks of contracting mesothelioma.
- Primary and secondary exposure. Women who are diagnosed with mesothelioma often share the same source of exposure from a male spouse or relative: the industrial workplace. While the man may directly breathe in asbestos fibers on the job, he may carry fibers home in his clothes or hair, placing family members at risk of inhalation.
- Survival rates. Men often have lower life expectancy rates based on their gender, but also have shorter cancer survival rates than women. However, this doesn't mean all women with mesothelioma will automatically outlive male patients.
Not only can mesothelioma victims exposed prior to 1980 win compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering, they don't have to pay back Medicare for any prior cancer treatment they received.
The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault help mesothelioma victims on a contingency fee basis—we don't charge for our services until after we secure a settlement for you. If you were exposed to asbestos between 1950 and the 1980s, simply fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free consultation, or call us. To learn more about your condition and options, also order our free eBook, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.