Men’s Health Week: Mesothelioma Disproportionately Impacts Men

men's health week

Each year, Men’s Health Week is celebrated during the week leading up to, and including, Father’s Day — meaning it starts today, June 12, and continues until June 18.

Given that the purpose of this week is to increase awareness of health issues and encourage the detection/treatment of diseases among men, it is the perfect time to address one particular medical condition that impacts men far more than women: mesothelioma.

For those who do not know, mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer typically linked to asbestos exposure. While asbestos can certainly lead to mesothelioma and other serious medical conditions in both men and women, it has historically affected men far more often.

In fact, according to a report published just a few months ago — and made available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website — males accounted for nearly 80 percent of the 45,221 mesothelioma deaths in the United States from 1999 through 2015. In many cases, these mesothelioma victims had been exposed to asbestos decades before, often at work.

Sadly, the high percentage of male mesothelioma victims is not particularly surprising, especially when you consider that men have traditionally worked in many of the industries in which asbestos exposure was a serious risk in the past, including construction, pipefitting, shipbuilding, auto repair and even the military, just to name a few.

Even today, construction workers face a significant risk of asbestos exposure, particularly if they are involved in the demolition or renovation of homes/buildings that may still contain asbestos, which is more than you think.

Indeed, as stated in the report mentioned above, “new cases [of mesothelioma] might result from occupational exposure to asbestos fibers during maintenance activities, demolition and remediation of existing asbestos in structures, installations and buildings if controls are insufficient to protect workers.”

If you would like to learn more about various health issues concerning men today — particularly those related to asbestos exposure, mesothelioma and lung cancer — we encourage you to visit our blog throughout the week and read our new posts.