Have you ever heard of mesothelioma? This rare cancer is diagnosed in close to 3,000 people annually; most are given an average of 10 months to live.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity called the mesothelium. The only known cause to mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.
Because mesothelioma cancer symptoms often resemble symptoms of other respiratory conditions, it can be difficult to diagnose. Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational cancers, including mesothelioma, in the United States, even now more than 30 years after the peak of asbestos use in construction. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 60 years after initial exposure to asbestos because mesothelioma commonly sits dormant in the body for anywhere from 20 to 50 years after a person's initial exposure to asbestos.
Despite its toxicity, asbestos still isn't banned in the United States. Asbestos poses the greatest risk when it becomes worn or damaged causing the fibers flake off and become airborne. It can be found in many older homes, schools, factories, and commercial buildings.
Meet Heather. Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma at the age of 36 just 3 months after giving birth to her daughter Lily Rose. Upon learning of this life-altering diagnosis, she and her husband Cameron embarked upon a journey to find the best mesothelioma treatment care available. Their search led them to Dr. David Sugarbaker, a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston-based Brigham and Women's hospital.