Is The Rate Of Mesothelioma Going Down?
We all benefit in many ways by living in an era of scientific, technological, and medical discovery and innovation. For example, as a result of cutting edge technology, most of us carry computers (smart phones) in our hands, loaded with a variety of applications capable of addressing complex issues. Our cars are becoming so smart that they can literally drive and park themselves. In the medical world, doctors and scientists are creating rare and amazing cures and treatments for a whole host of diseases and illnesses. Given all these advancements, it’s common to ask: Is the rate of mesothelioma going down?
According to data compiled in the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program database, diagnoses of mesothelioma peaked in the 1980s and 1990s, and have declined somewhat since that time. However, many cases continue to be diagnosed yearly. Moreover, an article in the Huffington Post states that CDC data shows that death caused by mesothelioma increased from 1999 to 2015.
Asbestos Is Still in Use, and Mesothelioma Is Still an Issue
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which is almost always caused by long-term exposure to asbestos. Asbestos, in its natural state, is not typically dangerous. However, the danger arises when the fibers become airborne and are inhaled. As we have discussed on prior occasions, federal and state governments have taken steps to reduce the use of asbestos. But a number of people think that asbestos has been entirely banned in the United States – it has not. It is still popular in many industries due to special properties belonging to the mineral.
The Latent Effect of Past Exposure to Asbestos
Even in light of the reduced usage of asbestos, there is another problem. The unhealthy effects of exposure to asbestos often do not reveal themselves for many years. It is not at all surprising to see it take 20 or 30 years (sometimes more) before a person exposed to asbestos develops mesothelioma. Therefore, even though steps have been taken to protect today’s workers, there are many people who suffer today from exposure which occurred long ago.
Mesothelioma and the Law
Originally, employees who suffered at the hands of wrongful employers were often limited to worker’s compensation benefits. Fortunately, as time passed, the law evolved to hold wrongdoers responsible for their actions and to protect workers. By holding these employers responsible for their actions, the law took steps to protect all future workers and their families. Additionally, Congress took steps to limit the use of asbestos. Thus, while it has not been banned, asbestos is not used as widely as it once was. Finally, many work rules and safety precautions have been instituted to protect those who work with or around asbestos on a regular basis.
At this time, there is no cure for mesothelioma. However, it can be treated like other forms of cancer. For example, surgery can be used to remove some tumors. In other circumstances, radiation or chemotherapy may be appropriate treatments. Of course, the best approach depends on many factors, such as the location of the cancer.
Contact Us with Your Questions
If you have been exposed to asbestos, your health is paramount. Make sure to share any symptoms you might be experiencing with a trained medical professional. And if you have questions about your legal rights, please contact us for a free consultation. At Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, our experienced mesothelioma lawyers frequently help Oregonians navigate this complicated legal landscape. We have a history of fighting to protect victims by holding wrongdoers responsible for their actions. After all, it is the only way to truly protect all of society.
Mesothelioma Cancer Incidence Rates - https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/results_merged/sect_17_mesothelioma.pdf