A special message from the Mesothelioma Cancer Center
Throughout the 20th century, a naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos as used extensively in a number of military and industrial applications. The most common uses of asbestos were for insulation, flooring, piping and brake lining. Asbestos was valued so much because of its durability and resistance to heat and fire. Unfortunately, exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of rare and deadly cancer known as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks the lining of organs. It occurs most often in the lining of the lungs (pleura), but has also been observed in the linings of the stomach (peritoneum) and the heart (pericardium). This type of cancer has an unusually long latency period and symptoms do not begin to show until anywhere from 25 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Because of the long latency period, by the time mesothelioma is diagnosed it is usually in its advanced stages and is more difficult to treat effectively. A typical mesothelioma survival rate is about one year after diagnosis.
Asbestos is harmless if left undisturbed, but if it becomes damaged or deteriorated in any way, microscopic asbestos fibers are released into the air where they can easily be inhaled or ingested. If you live in a home that was built before 1980, the odds are pretty good that you have asbestos insulation in your walls. Make sure to consult a professional home inspector and/or asbestos abatement company before making any major renovations to your home.
National Awareness Coordinator
Mesothelioma Cancer Center