What To Know About Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

18 Dec 2018

When you hear the word mesothelioma, the first thing that probably comes to mind is asbestos. Chances are, you've probably heard or seen it on TV and know about the dangers of it. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that's highly aggressive and affects the lungs, heart, and abdomen. It is mainly caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, a hazardous material that was used widely for decades. While asbestos is now banned, some have developed serious diseases as a result of exposure.

Unfortunately, since mesothelioma develops slowly, many people are not aware of it until the symptoms start showing up. Keep reading to learn more about what mesothelioma is and equip yourself with the right facts.

1. Australia has the second-highest mesothelioma death rate in the world.
Since 1980s, there are more than 10,000 people who succumbed to the disease. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the number of mesothelioma cases in the country is expected to reach 18,000.

2. It’s not a death sentence.
Although mesothelioma is one of the most vicious cancers, it's not a death sentence. Researchers and doctors are developing more sophisticated and advanced ways to diagnose and treat this disease. If you suspect you or a loved one has mesothelioma, make sure to find a specialist and connect with a mesothelioma survivors group for support.

3. Mesothelioma isn't the only disease that can develop as a result from asbestos exposure.
Other asbestos exposure-related diseases include asbestosis (scarring of the lung), pleural effusion (water around the lungs), lung cancer, throat cancer, and ovarian cancer.

4. Some individuals have higher risk of developing mesothelioma.
Some trades are more vulnerable to mesothelioma than others. Some occupations include, but is not limited to:

  • Electricians
  • Miners
  • Military personnel
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Ship Builders
  • Construction workers
  • Demolition workers
  • Firefighters

It's also important to note that mesothelioma can be also caused by secondhand exposure. Family members of workers who are directly exposed to asbestos whilst on the job are also at risk of developing mesothelioma.

5. Mesothelioma has a long latency period.
The length between exposure and diagnosis is between 35 to 30 years. Even though you might not be experiencing any symptoms yet, exposure to asbestos will have adverse effects on your health later in life.

6. You can minimise your risk.
Mesothelioma is extremely rare but, nonetheless, it's crucial to know how to minimise your risk and protect yourself from it. Asbestos testing is absolutely crucial if you suspect asbestos exists in the workplace or home.

Identifibre is a National Association of Testing Authority (NATA) endorsed asbestos testing laboratory. We specialise in the testing and management of asbestos for homes and workplaces. We also offer free safety consultancy for businesses that include asbestos checks and the creation of an asbestos management plan. Call (03) 9563 2957 for queries.

We're here to help

Asbestos poses a lot of harmful effects to you and your family. Should you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, the NATA accredited team at Identifibre can help you. We can provide an effective asbestos management plan to ensure that your home and your family's health is safe. For enquiries, please call us at (03) 9563 2957 or email us at contact@identifibre.com.au.

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