The UK has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world. This aggressive form of cancer results in 2,500 deaths a year in the UK, and it is estimated that there will be 50,000 to 60,000 new cases by 2050. Mesothelioma is so prevalent in the UK in part due to the use of asbestos not being reduced earlier and our legacy of a large shipbuilding industry.
Mesothelioma is mostly diagnosed in people aged over 70. However, over 20% of diagnoses are in people aged 51–60. The disease is rare in people under the age of 50.
We have no idea how Paul contracted this disease. He has never worked in construction or to our knowledge, been anywhere near asbestos..
It's inconceivable that this disease can barely be detected or diagnosed until too late...usually at Stage 4.
We need research to save Paul's, and other mesothelioma sufferers' lives.
The British Lung Foundation sums it up...................
Here are five reasons why research need more funding.
1. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer with no cure
Mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs caused by breathing in asbestos, kills around 2,500 people a year in the UK - this makes us the worst affected country in the world.
There are very few effective treatments for mesothelioma and no cure, meaning there is little hope for someone who develops the cancer. Most will die within months of their diagnosis and fewer than one in ten will survive three years.
2. Investment into research is severely underfunded
This devastating disease kills a similar number of people to other cancers, such as skin cancer, yet investment into research is severely underfunded.
New data released a couple of months ago shows a steady increase in the number of people dying of mesothelioma every year in the UK, and it is estimated that around 60,000 people will die from this disease over the next 30 years.
Finding new and effective treatments is absolutely crucial if we are to save the thousands of people who are at risk of developing mesothelioma.
3. Insurance companies already have money set aside for mesothelioma compensation pay-outs
Every year insurance companies pay out millions of pounds in compensation to people with mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
Insurance companies are expected to pay out an estimated £11bn in future mesothelioma compensation awards. If even a tiny fraction of this was donated to research, say 0.05 per cent every year, it could fundamentally transform mesothelioma care.
4. It won’t cost the tax-payer a penny
We know that the country’s finances are tight. By asking insurers to donate this small amount every year, tax-payers would incur no extra cost. In fact, the scheme could save insurers money in the long-term.
With mesothelioma patients living longer as a result of better treatments, the amount of compensation the industry would have to pay out would be greatly reduced. Saving lives could potentially save them millions.
5. More research = more hope
Many people affected by mesothelioma, both patients and loved ones, have told me that they would gladly give up all their compensation if it meant that they had better treatments.
What would be mere loose change to these insurance companies could help the thousands of people in the UK that will develop mesothelioma in the coming decades to find that glimmer of hope.
Paul is going to cycle Lands End to John O Groats in 2019
We are also planning a Fundraising Ball March 2019.
We hope to raise lots of money for Mesothelioma research in the UK
(NB - since I wrote this we are calling our campaign ERASE MESO. We would hope to collaborate with other meso charities in funding research rather than cannibalise.)