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Mesothelioma in the UK
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the external lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). The disease has been linked to exposure with asbestos dust. Cancer of this kind is uncommon and rarely is a result of anything other than asbestos exposure. It is also very difficult to diagnose. Tumors of the mesothelieum can be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Most mesothelial tumors are malignant. However this disease is not very responsive to therapy.
Between a person’s
first exposure to asbestos and the onset of this disease can be anywhere
from 15- 60 years. By the time symptoms first appear and the cancer
is diagnosed, the disease is often in its advanced stage. The average
survival time is one to two years. If found early enough almost half
of the patients reach the two year mark and approximately twenty percent
survive five years.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published statistics regarding work related mesothelioma deaths in the UK, spanning the years 1981- 2000. The study was published in 2003. The statistics showed that the highest rates of mesothelioma deaths in men were in West Dumbartonshire, Barrow-in-Furness, Plymouth, Portsmouth and South Tyneside, which were areas that were involved in shipbuilding, thus the high incidence of asbestos.
Other areas, which were
considered high risk, were areas that were situated close to, or contained
railway engineering sites. These areas included Crewe, Eastleigh and
Nantwich. Also high risk was Barking, Dagenham and Newham, which housed
factories that made asbestos products.
* The statistics for this study are available on the HSE website which can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/area8100.pdf.
Anika Logan is a freelance writer and librarian who writes on a variety of topics including fashion and beauty, food and dining, entertainment, weddings, writing, home improvements and alternative medicine. She is new contributor to http://www.mesothelioma-24-7.com.