In 2010, Congress established September 26 as National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The day was established to make the public aware of the disease and its deadly consequences. More awareness should result in an increased effort to find effective treatments and a cure.
Thousands of people die every year from lung disease that can be traced to asbestos exposure. Three thousand die annually from mesothelioma, which is associated with inhaling asbestos dust.
Although research has made great strides, a cure is still in the distant future. Research is expensive and according to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, most of the funding comes from private donations.
According to the Congressional Declaration for Awareness Day, the reasons for the declaration include making the public aware of the following:
• The nature of mesothelioma, which is an asbestos-related cancer affecting many organs, specifically the lungs, heart, testicles or abdomen.
• That even limited exposure to asbestos can result in the development of mesothelioma. Cases have been found 20 to 50 years after exposure when the exposure lasted no longer than one month.
• According to a 2006 Congressional report from the National Institutes of Health, it is difficult to diagnose mesothelioma and more difficult to treat it following diagnosis.
• The National Cancer Institute expressed the need for discovery of new treatments for all asbestos-related diseases, particularly mesothelioma.
• The need for improved mesothelioma treatment has been overlooked for too long.
All those who suffer from mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases and their families deserve to have these devastating conditions recognized by the public. More action should be taken to eradicate these diseases.
Source: Mesothelioma Help, “National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26,” September 20, 2012.
For more information, please visit our mesothelioma information page.