Mesothelioma awareness week is upon us again, and after 11 years, you can’t help but feel a combination of pride on how far the movement has come in spreading information about this terrible disease, but also how far we still have to go.
Mesothelioma is an especially deadly form of cancer, which is made all the more tragic since it is virtually 100% caused by exposure to asbestos. This means this particular form of cancer should also be nearly 100% preventable, however mesothelioma continues to be a plague on so many people and their families.
This is a special week where the message on mesothelioma can be spread in earnest through events and advocacy. It’s important to pay attention to the changes that are going on and the efforts being made to take the steps to be rid of this nearly fully preventable cancer.
ADAO & Awareness Week
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Association (ADAO) is a group fighting to get the facts out about asbestos, as well as its connection to mesothelioma. They are behind the annual “Let’s Rock” campaign encouraging radio stations to play music by Warren Zevon, who died of mesothelioma in 2003. They also hold annual conferences that are attended by doctors, researchers, activists, and patients who discuss the most recent news in treatment options, advancement in medicine, and get together to share ideas so everyone can get up to date on their knowledge and push the awareness even further.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day was started in 2004 by the Meso Foundation and over time as more people have gotten together in solidarity after having their lives touched by this terrible rare cancer, it’s become an awareness week. Many foundations informally and formally see the month of April as a time to get together and really bring out the news. This unification every spring really helps to continue to build the momentum around this movement.
How You Can Help
One of the most important things you can do to help is to participate by learning about mesothelioma and asbestos, as well as what local groups are around that you can join in with to be active with this community.
Just a few of the groups include:
- John McNamara Foundation
- International Mesothelioma Symposium
- Miles for Meso
- International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) and others
There are many other groups that you can join who also fight to teach the public more about asbestos and mesothelioma.
Did You Know Asbestos Is Still Legal in the United States?
Part of the point of this awareness week is learning more and spreading important knowledge. For example, did you know asbestos is still legal to use in the United States and is, in fact, still used by many contractors in the country? After seeing all the mesothelioma lawsuit commercials many people assume that asbestos was something used often in the past but which is no longer used now.
While the use of asbestos was much more widespread a few decades ago, the truth is that it is still legal to use in the United States (although 40 other nations have banned its use completely), and many people believe its regulation isn’t nearly good enough, especially considering the consequences of being exposed to it.
There’s always a lot happening during mesothelioma awareness week, and diving in as a participant is a great way to show your support and pick up the additional knowledge and strength you need to spread the word. While having a mesothelioma awareness week is a great start, this awareness topic needs to stay in focus every other day of the year as well.