Mesothelioma: Fighting the Hidden Killer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which I’ve been known to crawl under, too, from time to time) you’ve been seeing videos of people dumping buckets of ice cold water over their heads. While the idea itself is a little ridiculous (especially for all those people in Southern California doing this while we’re in an extreme drought), it did do something great for ALS- it brought to light a devastating disease that before people didn’t like to think about, or maybe weren’t even aware existed. Now it would be great if we could dump buckets of water over ourselves for every horrible disease that inflicts people everyday, but we can’t. There are just too many. Besides, who’s going to continually dump water on their head or watch it for that matter? So while it’s great that this awareness move brought attention to ALS, what about the many many others taking lives everyday?

There’s a good chance you may not know that today is the 10th Anniversary of Mesothelioma Awareness Day. I’ll admit, I didn’t know this was today. In fact, while I’ve heard of mesothelioma from time to time, I never paid too much attention to it because, like a lot of people, I tend to take my physical good health for granted. It really wasn’t until I was reached out to by the courageous Heather Von St. James that I spent a good deal of time just really looking into and absorbing the information on this cancer that can so easily affect us all. Heather, who was diagnosed 8 years ago, had just given birth to her daughter and was told she only had 15 months to live. Going through a life saving surgery that removed her left lung, Heather is now spreading awareness through her amazing blog.

Heather and Family

Heather and her family

Cancer is a huge killer. We know that. But what you may or may not know about mesothelioma is that it is caused by exposure to asbestos- which are used in all kinds of buildings, still, to this day. Knowing all the facts and information on this aggressive cancer can possibly help us not only be more aware on how to prevent it,  but it can also open up our eyes and hearts to be there for those who are struggling with mesothelioma now as you read this.

So if you could just take the time today for Mesothelioma Awareness and look over some very important facts on this disease Heather is fighting to protect us from:

What you need to know about the asbestos found everywhere:

Asbestos is a naturally
occurring mineral that is classified
as a known human carcinogen,
because of its association
with mesothelioma.

Even 30 years after the peak
of its use, asbestos still remains
as the number one cause of
occupational cancer in the
United States.

This year 10,000 Americans will die of
asbestos-related diseases such as lung
cancer or mesothelioma and 200,000
people will be living with asbestos.

The EPA estimates that there are asbestos
containing materials in most of the nations
approximately 107,000 primary and
secondary schools and 733,000 public
and commercial buildings.

What you need to know about Mesothelioma:

Mesothelioma commonly sits dormant
in the body for 20-50 years after
initial exposure to asbestos.

80% of all mesothelioma cases occur
within the lining of the lungs.
There are two other recognized types;
peritoneal mesothelioma occurring in the
abdominal lining, and pericardial
mesothelioma occurring in the heart’s lining.

Mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed
between the ages of 50 and 70,
but it is not uncommon among
younger generations who may
have experienced second hand exposure.

Asbestos exposure was first linked
to mesothelioma cancer in 1964.
Worldwide mesothelioma cases are
expected to reach their peak
around the year 2020.

Between 2,500 and 3,000 new cases
of mesothelioma are diagnosed
each year. On average,
they are given 10 months to live.


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