7 July 2017 | Comment | Article by Mary Mulhall
Today is Action Mesothelioma Day.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can only be caused by breathing in asbestos dust. Asbestos was banned in the UK back in the late 1990s but you can still find it in homes, schools and offices. Even being exposed once or twice could be enough to develop mesothelioma later in life. Because the cancer grows so slowly, by the time it is discovered, sufferers have a severely shortened life expectancy.
According to Cancer Research UK, more than 2500 people a year die from mesothelioma and 94% of those deaths could have been prevented.
Mesothelioma – usually affects the lining of the lungs but can also affect the peritoneum. Common symptoms include breathlessness, a persistent cough and weight loss. Sufferers also regularly experience chest pain.
Doctors continue to work on different treatments for this terrible disease and research into a cure is ongoing, but for someone diagnosed with mesothelioma today the condition is inevitably terminal.
Working out when someone was exposed to the asbestos that might have caused their illness can be quite difficult, as this could have been up to 50 years ago or more. Even small quantities of asbestos are capable of causing mesothelioma.
While statistics suggest that the majority of cases of mesothelioma are in people over the age of 70, cases in people younger than that can and do happen.
Mesothelioma Day’s aim is to raise awareness about mesothelioma and to raise funds for the research into and treatment of mesothelioma.
As a solicitor specialising in asbestos related illnesses, I have to deal with mesothelioma on a regular basis because many of my clients suffer from and ultimately die from it.
Seeing this happen to my clients is heart wrenching. No amount of compensation can make up for the suffering and loss these clients endure but if I am able to give them peace of mind for their family’s financial future and help them ensure their family is well looked after then I feel like I have been able to make a positive difference in their lives.
Most exposure to asbestos happened in the workplace and employers have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees. If it turns out that an employer could have prevented the exposure to asbestos and didn’t, then it is highly likely they would be found liable for the resulting cases of mesothelioma in their employees. Only a conversation with a mesothelioma solicitor will help you find out if you may be due compensation.
For more information about mesothelioma, visit our mesothelioma page.