National Mesothelioma Awareness Day Sept. 26
Mesothelioma impacting local residents prompts Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Every corner of the world is impacted by cancer. That sentiment reigns true for mesothelioma as well. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer with one sole cause – asbestos exposure. The state of California has the highest rate of mesothelioma cases of any state in the United States, from 1999 to 2015, 4,295 California residents died from mesothelioma. Even closer to home, Los Angeles County has the highest rate of asbestos related deaths in California. From 1999 to 2013 3,970 Los Angeles county residents died from asbestos-related illnesses. On average in the county, there are 264 asbestos related deaths each year.
While most people have heard of asbestos – and perhaps even mesothelioma – the specifics surrounding the disease are often misunderstood. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that is still legal in the United States. The toxin is a naturally occurring microscopic material that, when inhaled, embeds itself in the organs. There are four types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular.
The most common form of the disease is pleural mesothelioma, which occurs in the lining of the lungs. Those diagnosed with mesothelioma are often only given 12 to 21 months to live. Due to this poor prognosis prevention of the disease is paramount. As asbestos is the only known cause the ban of this material is the best way to prevent the disease. While the complete ban of asbestos is priority number one, if such a ban were to be put in place tomorrow, the threat of mesothelioma would not be quelled. Mesothelioma typically develops 20 to 40 years after asbestos exposure so the height of mesothelioma cases has yet to be reached.
Join those fighting to end mesothelioma in a tweet chat on Mesothelioma Awareness Day, Sept. 26, at 9 a.m. PST using the hashtag #EndMeso.