Each year in Australia, between 700 and 800 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma. In 2018, 699 people died from this rare and aggressive cancer, based on Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR) data at 1 May 2019.

Australia has one of the highest measured incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world (Bray et al. 2017). According to analysis of the AMR, the ‘average’ Australian with mesothelioma:

  • was male
  • was diagnosed at around 75 years of age
  • was exposed to asbestos in both occupational and non-occupational settings
  • lived for around 11 months after diagnosis.

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


  • What is mesothelioma?
  • Australia's use of asbestos
  • How many people are diagnosed with mesothelioma?
  • The median age at diagnosis is 75
  • Incidence rates vary by state and territory
  • Survival rates lower than other cancers
  • Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma die from it
  • Asbestos exposure among people with mesothelioma
  • What are the challenges in collecting data and reporting on mesothelioma?
  • Where do I go for more information?
  • End matter: Glossary; References; Acknowledgments