Number of Mesothelioma Patients in the City Set To Rise
People in the South West should be made more aware of the symptoms of asbestos related diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, due to an expected increase in diagnosed cases, warns a specialist legal expert.
James Walsh, an industrial disease litigator who is recognised nationally for his expertise in dealing with asbestos disease claims, confirms that the South West is one of the most affected areas in the country for asbestos related diseases and that the number of diagnosed cases is expected to grow year on year until peaking around 2020-2025.
James has been provided with the latest Mesothelioma Audit Report*, undertaken by the Royal College of Physicians, and it shows an increase of nearly 25% in reported cases between 2014 and 2016.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs, most notably the lungs. It’s usually linked to asbestos exposure with no cure and a terminal prognosis. Taking decades to develop it closely relates to the shipbuilding; engineering; manufacturing; and construction industries. Those who worked in these industries during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, when the use of asbestos was prevalent are most at risk. Symptoms for mesothelioma can include chest pain, shortness of breath, tiredness, weight loss and a persistent cough.
Due to the industrial nature of business in the region, particularly shipbuilding, the South West has one of the highest proportions of cases with 202 cases reported. The patients affected are predominantly male with the majority falling into the 60 to 85 age group. However, there is a substantial number of women (17%) who have been diagnosed, many of whom are family members of workers that were exposed to asbestos.
James, who is an accredited asbestos specialist of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), emphasises the importance of early diagnosis and quality care for patients with mesothelioma: “It can be 30 years or more after exposure to asbestos before symptoms develop. Due to the time lapse many sufferers are not aware their illness is asbestos related and put the symptoms down simply to old age. If you worked in any of the high risk sectors and are suffering with any related symptoms then it is essential that you see your GP as soon as possible. Quite simply, the earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.
“Raising awareness of mesothelioma and its symptoms is crucial to improving the current statistics which sadly see only 43% of patients surviving one year after diagnosis. This devastating disease is life changing to both the patient and their family and it is paramount to ensure that patients have the best standards of care available. Sufficient compensation can assist significantly in the level of care provided and take some of the burden away from the NHS and family members who have to devote hours of time to care for their loved ones. Raising awareness is crucial to boosting the statistics and prolonging the quality of life of those who have been diagnosed.”
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