Mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdominal cavity, and heart, takes the lives of 2,500 Americans each year. This rare cancer is preventable and is only caused by exposure to microscopic asbestos fibers. When inhaled or ingested, the fibers embed in the lining of the organs, where the cancer may later develop. With no existing cure for mesothelioma, raising awareness of the risks associated with asbestos exposure is critical.
The prevalence of the disease differs across the country. From 2001 to 2010, the state of Florida had the second highest number of mesothelioma deaths in the country.
Asbestos was a commonly used additive in industrial and commercial settings because of its anti-flammable abilities. The use of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) peaked in the United States between 1930 and 1980.
Asbestos-containing materials can still be found in homes across the country, leaving an estimated 20 million Americans currently at risk of developing the cancer. Mesothelioma Awareness Day, September 26, is the ideal opportunity to investigate your family’s potential risk and prevent any future asbestos exposure.
The UF Health Cancer Center’s expert medical professionals offer evaluation and personalized management of patients with mesothelioma and other cancers.
To learn more about mesolthelioma visit the National Cancer Institute.