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New Mesothelioma Research Center Brings Hope

Our Boston mesothelioma attorneys know that there are few causes of more critical importance today than finding a cure for this disease. labwork2.jpg

That’s because the clock is ticking for those who suffer from it.

Caused by exposure to airborne particles of asbestos fibers and typically affecting the lining of the lungs, the disease remains latent for decades, but only 10 percent of mesothelioma patients survive past the five-year mark.

So it’s encouraging to hear about a new research center that has opened in England. Even though it’s not located stateside, breakthroughs that occur there can benefit mesothelioma sufferers across the globe.

Papworth Hospital, which is in Cambridgeshire, about an hour north of London, has announced its new research center, called the “Mesobank.” This facility will conduct live tissue sampling as well initiate data research.

While mesothelioma remains a serious problem here in the U.S., the U.K. now holds the unfortunate title of having the highest mortality rate for mesothelioma in the world. There, about 2,300 die every year – more than are claimed by thyroid cancer, testicular cancer, skin cancer or cervical cancer.

However, Britain’s population is much smaller than in the U.S. Here, an estimated 10,000 people die annually from the disease. The Environmental Working Group estimates that more Americans die from asbestos exposure each year than do of skin cancer or even firearm-related deaths.

Part of the reason has to do with how pervasive asbestos was in a wide range of products over many, many years. Primarily, these included pipes, insulation, shipping materials and auto parts, but it wasn’t limited to those areas. That’s part of what sometimes makes it difficult for mesothelioma lawyers to pinpoint the exact source of exposure. In a lot of cases, multiple defendants will be taken to court, as most cases involve multiple sources of exposure.

The average life expectancy once someone diagnosed with mesothelioma is 18 months.

During its latency period, a person may have no symptoms whatsoever. It’s worth noting that the highest rates of longer survival involve those individuals who catch it early.

The top two early warning signs are shortness of breath and a heavy feeling in the chest. Other possible symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (in the lungs) include:

1. Back or side pain;
2. Trouble swallowing;
3. Fatigue;
4. Cough;
5. Weight loss.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma (in the abdomen) include:

1. Abdominal pain;
2. Back pain;
3. Anemia;
4. Nausea and vomiting;
5. Constipation.

The hope of the Mesobank is ultimately to find a cure for this disease, though in the immediate realm, researchers are hoping to extend that life expectancy.

Dr. Robert Rintoul, the consultant physician at the hospital, said this is form of cancer for which research has been sorely neglected. We concur and will be closely watching the research developments as they unfold.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in New England, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
Papworth opens mesothelioma cancer research centre, Staff Report, BBC

More Blog Entries:
Boston Mesothelioma Trials: Loss of Consortium, June 30, 2012, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog