Action Mesothelioma Day takes place on the first Friday of July every year. During 2020, this special day of awareness and remembrance is on Friday 3rd July.
The main intention of Action Mesothelioma Day is to raise awareness about mesothelioma but it is also an opportunity to remember those who have been affected by the condition. Many thousands of people every year are diagnosed with asbestos related conditions and yet mesothelioma is a disease that many haven’t heard of until a family member or friend develops it.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an asbestos related cancer that usually develops in the lining of the lungs but it can also affect the lining of the abdomen and the lining the heart. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition, although there are various treatment options available which are intended to provide a better quality of life and/or prolong life expectancy.
During the last few years there have been developments in the treatment of mesothelioma via immunotherapy. However, immunotherapy type treatment isn’t available on the NHS for mesothelioma sufferers and so whether someone can afford to access this expensive treatment very much depends on their personal financial circumstances.
Asbestos in the UK
Blue, white and brown asbestos was used widely in the UK across many industries for a number of decades. In particular, asbestos materials such as lagging and sheeting were extensively used by tradesmen during the 1960s and 1970s.
Many buildings today still have asbestos materials present from when it was fitted all those years ago. This is a concern as the material will become damaged over time, the fibres can then escape into the atmosphere and be breathed in. Of further concern is that far too many employers today are still not managing the asbestos in their workplace and thereby are exposing their workers to asbestos fibres. This is completely unnecessary and can be fully prevented.
The majority of mesothelioma sufferers have developed the condition as a result of exposure to asbestos at work. Jobs typically carried out by our mesothelioma clients include carpenters, plumbers, electricians, laggers, pipe fitters, labourers and ship repairers.
The environments in which our clients work are also key as we see many mesothelioma sufferers who have worked in power stations, factories, on the railways, at the docks, in offices and in schools. Mesothelioma is a condition that doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone irrelevant of their gender, age or race and is widespread across many types of employment.
Not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. However, for those people who do develop the condition, the period between exposure to asbestos and first symptoms of the condition is very long and typically ranges from 10 to 60 years. As such, people who know they have been exposed to asbestos have the worry of waiting to see if they are going to be one of the 2,500 people in the UK every year who are newly diagnosed with mesothelioma. It is shocking to think that in the last ten years alone, over 25,000 people have suffered from mesothelioma.
2020: A Different Kind of Action Mesothelioma Day
Prior to this year, Action Mesothelioma Day consisted of events around the country being organised for people to attend in person, so they could play their part in raising awareness about the disease and to remember their loved ones who have passed away from the condition. However, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions in place, Action Mesothelioma Day will be a different kind of day during 2020.
This important day will certainly not be forgotten but rather it will consist of online and virtual events, mainly organised by asbestos support groups, which people are encouraged to participate in from the comfort of their own home. We may be in the middle of lockdown restrictions but that will not stop Action Mesothelioma Day from going ahead.
Asbestos support groups play a crucial role in providing assistance and support after a diagnosis of mesothelioma. The groups help mesothelioma sufferers and their families with everyday practical matters, as well as raise awareness about this devastating cancer by organising events throughout the year, including on Action Mesothelioma Day.
Everyone affected by mesothelioma is encouraged to participate in a virtual or online event on Friday 3rd July 2020 and to also spread the word to their family and friends about the importance of Action Mesothelioma Day. The internet provides details of the many virtual events taking place around the country which have been organised by asbestos support groups and other asbestos related organisations. The advantage of virtual events this year is that more than one event can be attended and it doesn’t matter about location.
Regrettably mesothelioma is a condition which is not going away. We should continue to work together to raise awareness about the condition, ensure funding is achieved for vital medical research and support the charities who do an amazing job every day in supporting mesothelioma sufferers and their families.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos related disease, we urge you to seek legal advice from us. We will explore every single possible avenue with you and we act on a “no win, no fee” basis with no hidden charges and no deductions for legal fees.
For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Asbestos & Mesothelioma specialist solicitors on 0808 252 5231 to discuss your potential compensation for asbestos related disease. To request a call back please complete our contact form.