National Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Today is National Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The day was set aside by Congress as a time to raise the public’s awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, is diagnosed in close to 3,000 Americans each year. 90,000 people worldwide die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, chest or abdomen that is highly aggressive and is resistant to many cancer treatments. Most at-risk for developing mesothelioma are trade workers such as insulators, plumbers and pipefitters, electricians, sheet metal workers, auto mechanics, refinery and factory workers, construction workers and shipyard workers.
Americans need to be made aware that the only way to prevent mesothelioma is by not being exposed to the mineral in the first place. However, since the disease, which is often not diagnosed for decades after exposure, remains a real hazard, research into finding an effective treatment or cure is critical.
Currently, there is no known cure and the average survival time is less than a year. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation states, “funding for research is key to the development of new treatments and learning how to target the appropriate patient care.”