What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a unusual type of cancer that may take up to 20 years to extend. At present there are three(3) recognized forms of mesothelioma wherein doctors can diagnose patients and these are pleural ,peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, which is a skinny membrane that lines the inner outside of the chest wall where it is known as pleura, and abdomen, where it is known as peritoneum. It also surrounds the organs that found within these cavities for example the lung ,heart and intestines.
How many people die from mesothelioma?
- Approximately 2,300 people died from mesothelioma in UK in 2010.
- Over 8 in 10 mesothelioma deaths in UK occur in men.
- Mesothelioma death rates in UK have increased by a fifth in women in the last 5 years, but have remained fairly constant in men.
- Because of changing patterns of asbestos disclosure, the number of mesothelioma deaths is expected to peak in 2016 and decline rapidly thereafter.
How common is mesothelioma?
- Mesothelioma accounts for below 1% of all cancers diagnosed in UK.
- In UK in 2010, around 2,500 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma, that is around 7 every day.
- Mesothelioma is approximately 5 times more common in men than in women. In 2010 there were about 2,100 cases in men and about 430 in women.
- About 9 in 10 mesothelioma cases occur in people aged 60 and over.
- Mesothelioma occurrence rates have increased almost four-fold since the early 1980s.
What are the main causes of mesothelioma?
- Most cases of the mesothelioma are caused by the past occupational exposure to asbestos.
- Asbestos is an insulating substance that was extensively used in many industries in the UK from the 1950s up until the mid-1980s, including shipbuilding and construction and where asbestos lagging was fitted or asbestos board was sawn.
- The use of brown and blue asbestos was banned in UK in 1985. A complete ban on the use of asbestos products was launched when white asbestos was banned in UK in 1999. But workers in several occupations may still come in to contact with asbestos-containing materials that installed before these dates and regulations affect.
- Mesothelioma symptoms may not come into sight for more than fifty years after exposure to asbestos
Those afflicted with Mesothelioma may not in attendance symptoms until many years after exposure. General Mesothelioma symptoms such as:
- Weight loss.
- Difficulty in swallowing,
- Pain in abdomen or chest,
- Flu-like symptoms,
- Fluid in the lungs, and
- Respiratory complications