Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It affects the pleural lining, most commonly around the lungs (PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA) and abdomen (PERITONEAL). A small number of asbestos fibres can cause this cancer to develop, although this usually occurs many year later. The time between exposure and development of mesothelioma is known as the latency period and can range between 10 and 70 years.
Who is affected by mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma has affected people of all ages from as young as 14 to 90 and upwards. It can affect men and women in all professions and none. Some people have been exposed to asbestos through a family member or someone they have been in close contact with who has worked with asbestos. Approximately 2,600 are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the UK, the highest number in Europe.
Are there different types of mesothelioma?
There are 3 main subtypes of mesothelioma, epithelioid – the most common and usually slower progressing form, sarcomatoid – a more aggressive form of mesothelioma, and biphasic – a combination of the epithelioid and sarcomatoid.
Where is asbestos found?
Asbestos is found in many private and public buildings including homes, schools and hospitals. There is estimated to be asbestos in more than 86% of schools (nea.org) and 94% of hospitals (BBC). It is likely to be found in buildings built before 1999.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral mined in a number of countries including Canada, Russia, South Africa and Brazil. It was used worldwide for decades for its highly effective fire-resistant properties.
How do I know if I have been affected?
Many people will have been exposed to asbestos however it is a rare cancer and few of those exposed will go on to develop mesothelioma.
Is there treatment for mesothelioma?
There is new research and development into the treatment for mesothelioma due to the severity of the diagnosis. The main treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy
Can you survive mesothelioma?
For some mesothelioma sufferers they have lived with the condition for many years but sadly many do not. Survival times can depend on the subtype of mesothelioma, the treatment received and the age of the sufferer.
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