At least 710 Australians were diagnosed with mesothelioma last year, the rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Western Australia had the highest rate of new cases of mesothelioma in the year (4.9 per 100,000 people), while Tasmania had the minimum (1.5 per 100,000 people), according to new data released on Tuesday.
The figures published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare are based on the diagnoses related to the Australian Mesothelioma Registry, which was established in 2010.
The institute also obtained data from an older authority to make long-term comparisons that date back to the early eighties.
The number of mesothelioma cases has increased steadily since then, according to AIHW, with 157 more modest cases reported in 1982.
But up to now the number of diagnostics has reached its peak in 2014 at 770.
Men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with unusual cancer than women, the numbers corresponding to the 2017 show.
This is expected because most cases are based on exposure to types of environments in which men are more likely to work, said AIHW.
Since 2010, 93% of people who provided labor and housing information to the national registry had a certain exposure to asbestos.
"Occupational exposures were usually much higher and there was greater certainty around them, which is probably due to the vast majority of cases," says the institute's report.
The national incidence rate of cancer was 2.9 per 100,000, according to what has been in recent years.
Survival rates for cancer continue to be very poor, according to the report, with the often slow diagnosis of the disease.
Between 1985-1989 and 2010-2014, the survival rate relative to mesothelioma of five years was 5.4%.
"The condition is often diagnosed once it has reached the advanced stages, since the first symptoms may go unnoticed or be confused as symptoms by other less serious conditions," the report said.
The average time between diagnosis and death is approximately 11 months.