Action Mesothelioma Day 2021
Action Mesothelioma Day is Friday 2 July 2021. Mesothelioma is deadly cancer usually caused by breathing in asbestos dust.
Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop. It’s normal for people to get the first symptoms 30 to 40 years after they were first exposed to asbestos.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that begins to grow in the lining of certain organs. Most commonly it affects the lining of the lungs (called pleura). But it can also affect the lining of the abdomen or the lining of the heart. This information focuses on mesothelioma of the chest, sometimes called malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Inside your chest are two thin layers of cells – called the pleura or pleura membranes. Each layer is about as thin as the skin of a balloon. The inner layer covers your lungs and the outer layer lines the inside of your rib cage.
The space between the two layers is called the pleural space and it normally contains a small amount of fluid. This fluid lubricates the two surfaces and lets your lungs and chest wall move and expand as you breathe in and out.
Usually, mesothelioma affects only one side of your chest. As the cancer cells grow and multiply, they form lots of small clumps, called tumours. These tumours are scattered throughout the lining of your lung and rib cage causing it to become thicker.
Different types of mesothelioma of the chest:
- Biphasic mesothelioma is also uncommon. Biphasic tumours have some parts which are epithelioid and some parts which are sarcomatoid.
- Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common type and accounts for around 75% of cases. This type of mesothelioma grows more slowly than others.
- Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is less common. It tends to progress more quickly and has a poorer outcome for treatment.
Who is at risk?
The main cause of mesothelioma is breathing in asbestos dust. Asbestos fibres are extremely small and when you breathe them in, they get lodged inside your lungs. These are the fibres that cause irritation to the lungs, which in some cases can lead to mesothelioma.
It’s normal for people to get the first symptoms of mesothelioma 90 to 40 years after they were first exposed to asbestos. So people who have symptoms right now might have been exposed to asbestos many years ago.
You can develop mesothelioma if you lived with people who worked with asbestos. They have even carried the asbestos fibres home on their clothing, where family members could breathe them in. People who work or have worked in industries that used asbestos are at higher risk of developing mesothelioma. This includes insulating work, construction and ship-building work, but asbestos exposure could have occurred in other jobs.
Some people who develop mesothelioma can’t remember coming into contact with asbestos and might not have been aware they were exposed to it.
There is no cure for this disease but Action Mesothelioma Day helps raise money for families affected by this deadly disease. Donate here >> https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/mesothelioma/action-mesothelioma-day