What is Mesothelioma? September 26th marks Mesothelioma Awareness Day. This is a day to celebrate the lives of those who have battled or are still battling Mesothelioma!
It’s also a day meant to spread awareness for this rare cancer and make people aware of how it can be caused and avoided for that matter.
Things have come a long way since Asbestos first started to be used in the building trade, with awareness of how dangerous this material is now much higher that previously however there is still along way to go to make sure everyone realises the dangers of Asbestos and the possible signs of Mesothelioma.
Here’s an Infographic showing the ‘Then & Now’ of Asbestos and Mesothelioma, please feel free to share…
Mesothelioma is a very aggressive and rare cancer in the mesothelium tissue. This tissue is located in the lungs, abdomen and heart–so mesothelioma can start in any of these three locations and is diagnosed accordingly.
Pleural mesothelioma (lungs) is the most common type, followed by Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen) and Pericardial (heart) being the rarest of types.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a natural fiber that becomes extremely dangerous and toxic when disturbed.
When inhaled through the nose, asbestos particles can get stuck in the lungs, abdomen and heart, causing mesothelioma.
Unfortunately, asbestos is still not banned in the United States, despite its known harmful properties. It was used in the earlier 1900’s because of its heat/fire resistant properties.
Asbestos can be found in many common household items, as well as commercial and industrial products.
This rare cancer is hard to diagnose because the symptoms do not usually come about until it’s in its later stages.
Also, early signs are easily mistaken for normal, everyday ailments. It’s not uncommon to be fatigued, hoarse, and nauseous or to experience fever, coughing and chest pain.
Treatment for mesothelioma can vary, depending on the type as well as a few other variables.
Surgery is one option, and chemotherapy and radiation are two other common routes. Many times, all three will be used. Other options are available, including immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a treatment, individual to each person, that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. It can either stimulate your immune system to make it work smarter and harder, or you can be given man-made proteins to help.
Sadly, the prognosis for mesothelioma patients is not typically very good. Most people diagnosed will be given a life expectancy of 12 to 21 months. This is dependent on a variety of different factors.
However, with the recent Cancer Moonshot initiative there has been an increased nationwide focus to put funds and efforts into cancer research. This is leading to improvements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention!
The more improvements made to these things, the better the life expectancy for mesothelioma patients, and others with different forms of cancer.
Your best bet for preventing mesothelioma is avoiding asbestos! Since it can be found in various places, you want to educate yourself and your loved ones on common places where it might be located.
It is always smart to have your house checked for asbestos. If it is found you want to verify whether or not it is a threat. If the asbestos is intact and undisturbed you are probably okay to leave it.
However, if there is damage done to the material containing asbestos, you are at risk. At that point, please contact asbestos abatement professional.
Doing the job on your own can potentially be very dangerous!
On this day, and days in the future, help spread the word! What is Mesothelioma? Its something that can be stopped! that’s what.
It is up to us to stop it–first and foremost, by education and awareness. If we cannot currently prevent asbestos from being used, we have got to band together to let others know how harmful it is!
From there, we must fight to have asbestos banned in the U.S. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has a list of current petitions to ban asbestos.
If you’d like to make a difference, please sign! Every single person makes a difference.
On average, the United Kingdom has 2,500 annual deaths due to mesothelioma each year–same as the United States. Other asbestos related disease deaths like asbestosis and lung cancer add to the asbestos-related death toll.
Thankfully, the United Kingdom has put a ban on asbestos. With that, one would expect mesothelioma death tolls to eventually take a dip. Due to the latency period, that could be delayed, but it is still a change in the right direction!
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