Action Mesothelioma Day is on 6th July- it’s a chance to remember the many people who died of this disease in the UK and also to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos.
Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer that usually develops in the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) but can also affect the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) and the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma). It is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Although asbestos continued to be imported and sold in the UK until finally banned in 1999, asbestos building products such as “asbestolux” are still present in schools, shops and offices. It is the future generations that need to be protected as they come across these materials, by now often crumbling and in poor repair.
Any exposure to asbestos carries a lifetime risk of mesothelioma because of the long latency period of this disease. There is no cure for mesothelioma and it is vital that research funded by charities such as Mesothelioma UK and the British Lung Foundation is also supported by government to seek an effective treatment.
In the meantime, support groups provide a vital opportunity not only for those suffering this disease to share experiences but also for their families and carers so that they can gain an understanding of the illness, treatment options and likely future needs. The importance of local groups is that they can address the needs of patients, provide them with help when needed, offer companionship and organise social activities, thereby ensuring that those affected can still enjoy themselves and not always feel like a patient.
What’s happening on Action Mesothelioma Day near you?
On Action Mesothelioma Day many of the support groups around the country are organising events in their areas. Here are some of the many of the events that will take place on Friday 6th July, full details can be obtained from their websites:
- Anglia Asbestos Disease Support Group (1 July) St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds
- Asbestos Awareness and Support Cymru will be at at Waterfront Museum, Swansea
- Cheshire Asbestos Victims Support Group will be at Liverpool Town Hall
- Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team will be at Grassmore Country Park near Chesterfield
- Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group will be at Albert Square, Manchester
- Hampshire Asbestos Support Awareness Group will be at The Innlodge, Portsmouth
- London Asbestos Support Awareness Group will be at Guys Hospital Chapel, London
- Mavis Nye will be at the Royal Dockyard Church, Chatham, Kent
- Mesothelioma UK will be at Leicester Cathedral
- South Yorkshire Asbestos Victim Support Group will be at Sheffield Cathedral