Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1-7): Mesothelioma

April 1st – 7th is Asbestos Awareness Week. Most people aren’t familiar with the harmful side effects that are linked to exposure of asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous material which was once commonly used in construction. Prolonged inhalation of the fibers can lead to lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

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Recently I learned about Heather, a beautiful woman that was diagnosed with Mesothelioma back in 2005, just three and a half months after giving birth to her precious baby girl. Heather was only 36 years old at the time. Most people don’t live beyond fifteen months after diagnosis and on average, are only given ten months to live. Fortunately, Heather got the treatment she needed and many years later, Heather is doing great. Now her mission is to spread awareness of this rare cancer.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the Mesothelium, the lining that covers several of the internal organs. Usually the cause of Mesotheloma is asbestos. Heather had never worked with asbestos, but her father had and she was victim of second hand exposure. If someone has been exposed to asbestos or the airborne dust/fibers, then there is a risk. If your home was built before 1978, there is a chance that asbestos was used as insulation. If you are considering remodeling your home, please have a professional check for asbestos before beginning your project.

This particular cancer has a latency period of 10-50 years. Commonly, the cancer grows in the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall. Signs of the cancer include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, cough/hoarseness/wheezing, coughing up blood and weight loss.

To learn more about Heather, you can find her story here. Please help spread the word and help more people become aware of this rare cancer. Knowledge is power. Learn more here:

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Please post to Facebook, Twitter, g+, etc… each share is appreciated. I know Cameron, Lily and Heather would definitely appreciate your help in spreading the word.

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