National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26. On this day every year, patients, survivors, loved ones, doctors and awareness organizations join together to reach one common goal: increase the public’s awareness of this extremely rare cancer in hopes of finding a cure.
You may wonder how you can contribute. What can you do to help raise awareness of mesothelioma?
What is Mesothelioma?
First, it is important to know what exactly mesothelioma is. It is an extremely rare cancer with less than 3,000 people diagnosed in the United States each year. The only cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure.
Asbestos is a natural mineral with heat-resistant and durable properties. It was overly used throughout most of the 20th century and wasn’t regulated at all until the late 1980s. The unregulated and widespread use of asbestos has led to millions of Americans developing asbestos-related diseases, such as lung cancer, asbestosis (lung scarring caused by asbestos) and mesothelioma.
The real danger of mesothelioma is the combination of the long latency period and the lack of distinguishable symptoms. The latency period, which is the length of time between asbestos exposure and official diagnosis, can often last decades, and patients often experience symptoms related to other common illnesses, which can result in misdiagnosis.
Both of these factors along with many others, can result in late-stage diagnosis as patients may not seek medical help until their symptoms become severe, which often means their mesothelioma has progressed and may limit available treatment options.
Raising Awareness of Mesothelioma
There are many ways to help raise awareness of mesothelioma. Now that you know about this disease, you can join Mesothelioma Guide’s efforts to increase the public’s awareness of this devastating disease.
Educate Others About Mesothelioma
Many people are unaware of mesothelioma, the cause and how it affects a person. Educating others about the risks of mesothelioma is crucial to bringing awareness to this rare cancer.
One of the most effective ways to contribute to this cause is by spreading useful information through casual conversation or on larger scales, such as social media or fundraising events.
By initiating eye-opening conversations or creating engaging content, we can inform the public of the causes, symptoms, risk factors and treatment options.
Educating others about the complexities of mesothelioma can encourage people to seek help and potentially evaluate their asbestos exposure history (if any) to see if they may be susceptible to developing mesothelioma. By raising awareness of mesothelioma and its risks, we can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health.
Another way to educate the public about mesothelioma is by supporting organizations dedicated to mesothelioma research and patient advocacy. Sharing useful information, such as informative blogs or other valuable content, can help bring awareness to mesothelioma, which can help advance research, improve patient support services, and ultimately bring us one step closer to finding a cure for this disease.
Together, we can transform knowledge into action, ensuring that individuals at risk are aware of the dangers and seek early diagnosis, improving their chances of survival. Let’s unite to raise awareness, promote education, and make a positive impact on the fight against mesothelioma.
Advocate for an Asbestos Ban in the U.S.
Asbestos was unregulated for many decades. Now, there are pretty strict regulations in place, but the substance is still not completely banned in the U.S., despite dozens of other countries around the world implementing complete bans.
Asbestos is still being imported to the U.S. today, as several large corporations are still finding ways to incorporate the substance into certain manufacturing processes.
For instance, the chlor-alkali industry is the sole consumer of asbestos in the United States. For years, the industry stood firm on its stance that there was no acceptable alternative in existence, and they required asbestos for certain purposes. However, earlier this year, one of the industry’s bigwigs finally caved and agreed to use an asbestos alternative.
Thankfully, the chlor-alkali industry is becoming more open to regulations that would reduce its asbestos consumption. However, the substance still exists in the United States. Together, we can advocate for stricter regulations on this cancer-causing substance and finally ban imports of asbestos and the use of the substance entirely, which would reduce the number of future mesothelioma cases.
Wear Blue or a Mesothelioma Wristband
Similar to many other cancers, mesothelioma has a color to promote awareness. The most commonly known is pink to raise awareness for breast cancer and support patients and survivors.
The color used to support mesothelioma is blue. On Mesothelioma Awareness Day, wear a blue shirt or blue ribbon to show your support. Throughout your day people may be curious about your ribbon or blue outfit, which can give you the opportunity to educate others about mesothelioma and spread awareness.
For more information about mesothelioma, connect with our patient advocates. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our registered nurse and nurse navigator. She can help answer any medical-related questions about your diagnosis and connect you with mesothelioma specialists.
Sources & Author
Sources & Author