What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma mainly affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma). More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition in the UK each year.
Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 60-80. Men are more commonly affected than women.
Who Is At Risk?
The risk of developing the disease is much greater if you were; exposed to large amounts of it from an early age. Or for a very long period of time. People at the highest risk of developing mesothelioma are those that have worked in:
Where they have been in contact with asbestos.
Asbestos In Schools
There has been a recent increase in the number of ex-pupils and teachers who have died as a result of exposure to asbestos in school.
Mesothelioma Is Almost Always Caused By Exposure To Asbestos.
The tiny fibres in asbestos and asbestos-containing materials are easily breathed into the lungs. Where they embed into the lining. These fibres irritate the pleura and cause gene mutations. Which then damage the lungs over time, leading to the growth of cancer.
The symptoms of mesothelioma tend to develop gradually over time. They typically don’t appear until several decades after exposure to asbestos.
The Symptoms Include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough
The use of asbestos was completely banned in 1999. Therefore, the risk of exposure is much lower now than it was previously. However, materials containing asbestos are still found in many older buildings. Including homes and schools.
Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to cure mesothelioma. Although some treatment can help control its growth. This is because it doesn’t usually cause any obvious symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly. By which time treatments have little effect.
You may find yourself needing support following a diagnosis of mesothelioma. This is available via a number of organisations such as:
Asbestos Exposure Prevention
If you suspect you have discovered asbestos in your home or workplace. It is important to contact an expert in asbestos removal. With the right procedures, asbestos can be removed or managed to ensure everyone is kept safe.