MIT Biotechnology Group

Mesothelioma Awareness Day 09/26

Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26th.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day (MAD) is an important day in the U.S. that helps bring awareness to this rare cancer. The only known cause for mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. While this toxin is a known carcinogen, it is still a legal substance in many places around the world, including the U.S.

When asbestos becomes airborne and inhalled, fibres of this toxin can make their way into the chest and stick to the walls of the lungs and other organs. Mesothelioma will usually present itself years after the first exposure. Due to its long latency period, symptoms may arise anywhere from 10-50+ years after exposure. Unfortunately, by that time patients are already in the late stages of this disease, and there is no cure yet for mesothelioma. This limits options for viable treatment.

Each year, around 2,500 people are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of the disease. MAD is important because not only does it bring attention to this specific cancer, it also brings attention to asbestos as a toxin that should be banned in the U.S.

Though there is no cure yet, many types of new treatments are coming out to the public. As recent as May 2019, NovoTTF-100L Plus Chemotherapy was approved by the FDA as a mesothelioma treatment. This is the first FDA approved treatment for this cancer in the past 15 years. Other treatment options include surgery and chemotherapy.

This year, please visit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization to learn how you can help advocate for an asbestos ban, the Cure Meso foundation to learn about event origins, and to educate yourself on the disease.

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