9/11 Impact On Mesothelioma: Researchers Worry

Researchers and experts are concerned about the possible impact of the 9/11 disaster on mesothelioma in the coming years and decades.

It is generally agreed that the large amounts of asbestos released during the 9/11 disaster will have a substantial impact on the number of new mesothelioma cases in the United States in years to come.

9/11 concerns over new mesothelioma cases are further complicated by the fact that it usually takes 20 to 40 years after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma cases to start developing. Currently there are about 3,500 mesothelioma cases being treated annually in the country.

And even where mesothelioma does occur, it is not known exactly how many of these patients will be actually treated because there is usually a large number who are misdiagnosed as having metastatic adenocarcinoma which is another different form of cancer. This could further worsen the impact of 9/11 on new mesothelioma cases over the next couple of decades.

Then there are the usual problems that hinder treatment of mesothelioma like the medical community not bothering to refer patients to centers where potentially curative treatment can be given because it is generally believed that the disease has no known cure. The truth is that although mesothelioma experts are far from having a cure for all patients, recent developments of more effective treatments including radical surgery and advanced radiotherapeutic modalities now offer much better odds for longer survival to patients suffering from mesothelioma.

Before 9/11, researchers had expected the number of new mesothelioma cases to peak in the next few years and probably begin to fall. More so because of the major asbestos control initiatives of the 1970s.

Visit the author's mesothelioma research blog for the latest mesothelioma research findings.

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