On the 26th of this month, we had our thirteenth Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Established by Meso Foundation volunteers in 2004, Mesothelioma Awareness Day has been instrumental in bringing more attention to, and funding research for, this particularly vicious form of cancer.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day: 26th September
In light of this, the team at ProDEM will be dedicating this month’s article to mesothelioma awareness, providing a thorough breakdown of the disease itself and its severity, and discussing the importance of mesothelioma awareness in 2017 and beyond.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare and complicated form of cancer which is caused by the prolonged inhalation of asbestos. Named after the mesothelium (thin layers of cells which line most of our internal organs), mesothelioma tends to affect the affect the lining of the lungs and the lower digestive tract, known as pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma respectively.
Mesothelioma is far more common in men than women. That is, men are five times more likely to be affected than women; however, this could well be due to the fact that exposure to asbestos has traditionally occurred in industries that were male dominated.
What is the survival rate?
Unfortunately, unlike asbestosis (another asbestos-related disease), the survival rate for mesothelioma is very poor. Although factors such as age and gender come into play, it largely comes down to how far along the diagnosis comes, which is nearly always too late.
This is because early stages of the disease are almost symptomless, and can take up to around 30 years to develop properly after exposure to asbestos has already occurred, meaning that when the cancer starts becoming aggressive, there is little that can be done.
Why mesothelioma awareness is still so important
Since the symptoms of mesothelioma take so long to manifest, rates of people being affected by this form of cancer have increased dramatically since the 1990s, rising by over 70% here in the UK. For example, earlier this year in May, a headteacher by the name of Cathy Kowan, died due to mesothelioma.
Although there is some dispute on when exactly Mrs Kowan was exposed to asbestos, it was almost certainly around thirty to forty years ago – and it is still only just coming to light now.
Although this spike won’t last too long due to the increased awareness of asbestos, there is still a great deal of asbestos still out there in public buildings; the longer it takes to get rid of it, the longer it will take for this peak to trough.
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Here at ProDEM, we specialise in safe, efficient and reliable removal of asbestos from commercial and domestic properties throughout Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and beyond. We are a fully licensed asbestos removal company who perform large and small asbestos disposal services using the safest working practices. If you require any quantity of asbestos removed from your property, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today – our friendly team is happy to help with any enquiry.