“Mesothelioma” is not a word that you hear every day. In fact, it is not rare that the first time a person hears the word is from their doctor when they are being diagnosed with the fatal disease. Every year, over 3,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and incurable form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, and worldwide peaks are expected to hit in the year 20201. Now is the time to spread mesothelioma awareness, ban asbestos, and put an end to this terrible affliction.
Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. The cancer develops after asbestos dust and fibers have been inhaled or swallowed, and it can take decades for symptoms to show. Most people report difficulty breathing and a heavy feeling on their chest. If you know you have been exposed to asbestos in your lifetime, these are important warning signs to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Do not fail to mention your asbestos exposure, as mesothelioma symptoms are often confused with that of the common cold, the flu, pneumonia, and bronchitis.
Most victims report their asbestos exposure happening at their place of work. Up until the late 1970’s, asbestos was a widely-used substance in manual labor trades and professions. U.S. Naval ships were coated with asbestos fireproofing material, and schools, homes, and buildings were constructed with it. Men who worked in these conditions at the time are most at risk for mesothelioma, but their family members often suffered from second-hand exposure as well.
Although the use of asbestos has dropped since 1978, it is still present in many residential and commercial buildings, and individuals are still diagnosed with mesothelioma on a regular basis. If this is your first time hearing about mesothelioma, pass this article on!
Today is the day to spread awareness about this incurable cancer!