Mesothelioma is a type of rare cancer that occurs almost exclusively from toxic exposure to asbestos. It is one of many types of toxic injuries. There are many other types, including exposure to household products like cleaners and strippers to lead poisoning from paint and defective toys. Any toxic injury can be devastating, but a recent study done by the Texas Occupational Medicine Institute confirms that asbestos exposure is extremely dangerous and generally fatal.
The study examined 238 cases handled by one medical practice (according to the websiteSurviving Mesothelioma, roughly 3,000 people get diagnosed with the disease every year in the U.S.).
The study highlights three main areas of concern, including the length of time it takes to develop mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, the characteristics of mesothelioma patients, and the survival rate after acquiring the disease.
Length of time: Mesothelioma generally takes a very long time to develop in a patient after exposure to asbestos. It took nearly 50 years on average for the 238 patients involved in the study to develop mesothelioma.
Characteristics: Because it takes so long to develop, mesothelioma is primarily a disease that affects older people. The average patient was 70 years old.
Survival rate: The patients in the study tended to live for 8.8 months on average after diagnosis - not a very good survival rate.