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Mesothelioma Cases On The Rise Worldwide

Recent reports in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have indicated that the annual number of mesothelioma deaths is increasing

. Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly form of lung cancer related to asbestos exposure. Exposure is often result of working in an industry, such as the insulation or automotive, which uses asbestos in manufacture or production. Because mesothelioma usually manifests 20 to 40 years after the first exposure, many reported cases derive from asbestos exposure that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.

According to calculations by the Center for Disease Control, mesothelioma deaths are expected to peak around 2010 in the United States whereas in the United Kingdom, the Health and Safety Executive predicted mesothelioma cases would continue to rise until 2016. The Canadian government reported mesothelioma cases shot up 67 percent in the last 15 years. Males are more likely to develop mesothelioma, although expects predict the number of mesothelioma cases involving females will increase as well.

In some areas, mesothelioma cases have almost doubled, suggesting the increase is due to a legacy of asbestos exposure from the 1960s. Once diagnosed, cancer patients have a grim prognosis, many only living for a few months. Additionally, asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, which points to an occupational or environmental hazard present in the patients' lives prior to diagnosis.

Although optimism remains that the number of the cases is expected to decline as the residual impact of asbestos use subsides, asbestos-related diseases are debilitating and often the result of inadvertent exposure via an occupational hazard. The UK reports that carpenters, plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers, electricians and electrical fitters are occupations most at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease. However many death certificates do not record occupations of the patients dying from mesothelioma.

Even though commercial use of asbestos has decreased tremendously, potentially fatal medical conditions can arise from even the smallest bit of asbestos exposure, including lung cancer, asbestosis, or mesothelioma. Many who have been exposed to mesothelioma can seek compensation for costly medical bills with a mesothelioma lawsuit.

by: Katie Kelley
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