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Action Mesothelioma Day 2018: What is mesothelioma?

Posted on July 4th 2018

This Friday (July 6th 2018) is Action Mesothelioma Day, but what is mesothelioma?

In this article we discuss the disease, and the importance of raising awareness this Action Mesothelioma Day.

Mesothelioma defined:

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which is almost always caused by being exposed to asbestos. Around 2,600 people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease every year.

The cancer develops in the lining covering some of the body’s organs. The most common form of the disease is pleural mesothelioma, and affects the lining of the lungs.

Less common forms of the disease may affect the lining of the stomach, heart or testicles.

The number of people developing the disease is rising every year. Unfortunately, the prognosis for mesothelioma is typically very poor. Around 50% of people with mesothelioma will live for a year following their diagnosis.

Exposure to asbestos:

Being exposed to asbestos is what causes this disease. Many people who develop the disease have been exposed to asbestos as a result of their career, or because asbestos was historically used as a construction material in many buildings. When asbestos is disturbed and the fibres become airborne they can become lodged in the lungs. Over a period of 10-50 years this can cause mesothelioma to develop.

The time between being exposed to asbestos and developing mesothelioma symptoms is known as the ‘latency’ period. The average latency period for mesothelioma is between 35 and 40 years.

Symptoms, diagnosis & treatment:

Symptoms: The symptoms for mesothelioma depend on the type of mesothelioma you have. For example, if the mesothelioma is located in the lung you may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, a persistent cough, and clubbed fingertips. If the mesothelioma is located in the stomach you may experience a stomach ache or swelling, vomiting, and a change in bowel function. You can see the full list of symptoms on the NHS website.

Diagnosis:  A series of different tests are used to diagnose the disease.  For example, your doctor may order an x-ray, CT scan, fluid drainage, biopsy, or an examination of the affected area using a special internal camera.

Treatment: This depends on how far the cancer has spread, and how healthy the person is. Mesothelioma is often diagnosed at a late stage. Therefore, treatment is normally focused on prolonging life rather than curing the disease. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery.

Our Work:

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors work with mesothelioma patients and their families every day to help them claim compensation. This compensation helps our clients to afford enhanced treatment, supportive aids, and to leave behind money to support their families once they have passed away.

Fund-raising this Action Mesothelioma Day:

Alongside our legal work, we also raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. We have raised over £32,000 in the last ten years for the charity, as they provide vital support for our clients and everybody affected by cancer.

This Action Mesothelioma Day we will be raising much-needed funds for the charity once again by hosting a bake sale. For updates, check our news section next week or follow us on twitter – @lawchester .

How can we help?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we can help discuss your compensation options. Call us on 01244 312306 or fill in our contact form for free initial advice.

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306