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16 September 2018
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Let me introduce you to our new 'useful link' Asbestos.com

There are many organisations that can help you or your family with any issues relating to Mesothelioma. They can provide emotional, practical and legal advice.

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Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that begins to grow in the lining around your lungs, the main cause of which is 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. People who have symptoms now might have been exposed many years ago.

The U.K. has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world, largely because the government permitted the use of asbestos long after other countries outlawed the mineral's use. Until the late 1990’s asbestos was used widely as an insulating material and because of this engineers, plasterers, roofing contractors, demolition crews, painters, pipe fitters, maintenance workers, carpenters, joiners, boilermakers, electricians and even teachers could have been exposed to asbestos related disease. You can also develop mesothelioma if you lived with someone who worked with asbestos. They may have carried asbestos fibres home on their clothing, where family members could breathe them in.

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Although there have been advances in the treatment of mesothelioma, it’s still usually regarded as a terminal condition. Sadly, only around 5% to 10% of people diagnosed with mesothelioma will survive for five years or more. The condition is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, and people with mesothelioma are often elderly and have other health problems. Unlike some types of cancer, there’s not a clear medical agreement about treatment for mesothelioma. You’ll be offered the treatment that seems best for you. With any treatment, you have to balance the risks and side effects with the possible benefits.

If you receive such a devastating diagnosis you might feel shock, fear, disbelief, anger, loneliness or resentment. You might feel a mix of some or all of these emotions. Sometimes it can be hard to accept that you have cancer, and you might feel like you just want to be left alone. It’s also going to be a difficult time for your friends and family, who might be experiencing many of the same emotions. It’s vital that when you’re ready, you receive the correct support. The British Lung Foundation as always are a there to provide you with access to trained professional staff, through their helpline 03000 030 555 and their web pages which are full of emotional, financial and practical advice. Asbestos.com are a worldwide organisation who provide free resources to help you navigate medical treatment, build a support network, find financial assistance and help you explore your legal options.

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When you are coping with this aggressive disease, why not let them ease your mind by answering questions you may have about your diagnosis, treatment options and other concerns. Your family too could benefit from their emotional and financial advice. Their online support group provides the tools and tips patients, loved ones and survivors need to physically and emotionally cope with mesothelioma.

Photo credits: Taton MoïseMatthias Zomer

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