Mesothelioma and Asbestos in the UK
High Risk Occupations
Prior to the 1980’s, anyone in the UK who was part of the shipbuilding industry, including serving on ship are at a high risk for exposure to asbestos and subsequently, mesothelioma. Presently, when these old ships are refurbished, maintained or repaired exposure to asbestos is still a danger. Asbestos will be disturbed in the process of repair and thus the fibers will become airborne.
Another high-risk occupation is construction work. Since asbestos was used for so long in the UK construction on these buildings and residences are prime places to find asbestos. Any structures built before the year 2000 will most likely contain asbestos, while in the United States asbestos is unlikely to be found in a structure after 1980.
By 1970 mesothelioma cases were rising in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Legislators began to realize that it was time to take action on the use of asbestos. Around this time hospital’s also saw that these cases required specialized care and treatment and doctors began to specialize in this cancer.
Other high-risk occupations include:
- HVAC engineers
- Roofing contractors
- Demolition crews
- Maintenance workers
Centers for Mesothelioma Treatment in the UK
There are only a few hospitals in the UK that have the specialists who can treat mesothelioma. One of the best hospitals is the Royal Marsden Hospital which has locations in Surrey and London. This hospital is the oldest hospital specializing in cancer related diseases in the entire world. There are approximately 500 new lung patients a year that are seen here. Facilities are state-of-the-art and offer participation in the ongoing clinical trials.
Other treatment centers include:
- Glenfield Hospital
- The Christie Hospital
- The London Chest Hospital
- Guys Hospital
- Bartholomew’s Hospital
- Papworth Hospital
- London Lung Cancer Centre-London Bridge Hospital
Clinical trials are offered at many of these hospitals. One such trial is studying the effects of prophylactic radiation of surgery scars to see if it will prevent or delay the recurrence of mesothelioma.
Light at the End of the Tunnel for UK
- Health and Safety Executive. (n.d.). Mesothelioma. Retrieved from http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/mesothelioma/index.htm
- Health and Safety Executive. (2014). Mesothelioma in Great Britain 2014. Retrieved from http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/mesothelioma/mesothelioma.pdf
- Mesothelioma UK. (2014) About Us. Retrieved from http://www.mesothelioma.uk.com/information-and-support/about-mesothelioma/
- Macmillan Cancer Support. (2013, May 1). Risk factors and causes of mesothelioma. Retrieved from http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Mesothelioma/Aboutmesothelioma/Causes.aspx
- Health and Safety Executive. (n.d.). Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Retrieved from http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/regulations.htm
- Malignant pleural mesothelioma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up; European Society for Medical Oncology (2015)
- Opitz I; Management of malignant pleural mesothelioma-The European experience. J Thorac Dis. 2014 May;6 Suppl 2:S238-52. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.05.03.
- Christoph DC, Eberhardt WE; Systemic treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma: new agents in clinical trials raise hope of relevant improvements. Curr Opin Oncol. 2014 Mar;26(2):171-81. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000053.