Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26, 2018. The goal of this day is to increase awareness of mesothelioma, asbestos exposure and to inspire people to act in the movement to end the asbestos man-made disease. This awareness day was established in 2004 by Meso Foundation community members in order to bring more attention and funding to this cancer.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma (or meso for short) is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. While there are some treatments available, there is no cure. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of cancer that affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). Other rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen, around the heart and around the testicles.
What is the Cause of Mesothelioma?
According to the American Cancer Society, asbestos exposure is the main cause of pleural mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they travel to the ends of your small air passages and reach your lungs, where it causes inflammation and scarring. If asbestos fibers are swallowed, they can reach the abdominal lining where they cause peritoneal mesothelioma (in the abdomen).
Because the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are very common, such as painful coughing, shortness of breath or chest pains, mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed or worse yet, isn’t diagnosed until the cancer has spread drastically and it’s too late.
Who can get Mesothelioma?
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos fibers runs the risk of getting mesothelioma. This doesn’t mean only those who work with asbestos or directly inhale it. Just like some people can get lung cancer from secondhand smoke, people can get mesothelioma from secondhand exposure. There have been cases of wives of those who work with asbestos, getting mesothelioma due to being exposed from their husbands’ clothing or fibers in their hair. One victim of mesothelioma was the daughter of an asbestos installer, who remembers her father coming home every night covered with white dust. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the relatively young age of 49.
Mesothelioma is a real, silent disease that takes a toll on the lives of many families. And contrary to popular belief, asbestos is not banned in United States. As long as exposure to asbestos fibers is still happening, then mesothelioma will continue to be a real and deadly cancer.
“As we embrace Mesothelioma Awareness Day and action to end the asbestos man-made disaster, we encourage everyone to sign the petition urging the EPA to ban asbestos now without loopholes or exemptions,” said ADAO President and CEO Linda Reinstein.
If you are interested in signing the petition to ban asbestos, click here:
Unsure if asbestos is in your building? Contact us today to schedule an asbestos survey! Our California-Certified Asbestos Consultants and Site Surveillance Technicians are trained to identify, manage and mitigate potential asbestos liabilities.