Scientists ask for sufferers of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma to step forward to boost research

 

Scientists looking into possible treatments for the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma are asking patients and their families to help steer future clinical research.

A survey has been launched aimed at better understanding the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with the disease, dubbed the “hidden killer” by the Health and Safety Executive.

Researchers hope that patients, carers and clinicians will raise concerns about their experience and allow for the compilation of 10 aspects of mesothelioma which could benefit from research.

The survey is being carried out as part of a project by the Priority Setting Partnership which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the results are set to be published later this year.

“It is vital that we gather and listen to the views of as many people as possible so everyone knows the topics that are a priority for clinical research,” says Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser at the Department of Health.

“Mesothelioma research has been identified as an important area and everyone needs to hear what patients, carers, families and healthcare professionals believe are the most important unanswered questions around the diagnosis, treatment and care of mesothelioma.”

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the membrane which covers the internal organs and it is currently incurable. Patients live, on average, for eight months following diagnosis. There is a direct link between the disease and the inhalation of asbestos fibres and it can take around 30 years for the effects to be seen.

The latest government figures show the disease caused 2,291 deaths in Britain in 2011 and the disease is set to reach its peak in 2016. Yet research funding is low. According to Lord Alton of Liverpool, the British Lung Foundation invested £1 million in 2011 but the government did not inject any funding.

The survey is being supported by a number of health organisations including the British Lung Foundation, Mesothelioma UK, The Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund, Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK, The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund, and Cumbria Asbestos-Related Disease Support.

Graham Sherlock-Brown, who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, said: “It is essential that research money is put into finding ways to relieve the suffering caused by this aggressive disease.

“Progress in treatment is long overdue and mesothelioma victims deserve far better – very few survive past five years and mesothelioma will continue to claim victims as long as asbestos is present in the UK.

“That’s why I’m pleased to see the launch of this important survey, which gives patients and carers a much-needed voice.”

Asbestos was widely used in commercial buildings, homes and schools and was hailed for its strength and fire retardant properties.

Following a confirmed link between asbestos and mesothelioma, blue and brown asbestos was banned in the UK in 1985. White asbestos was banned in 1999 although it remains in many buildings to this day.

New cases of mesothelioma have increased fourfold since the 1980s. Asbestos exposure can also cause asbestosis, plural plaques, plural thickening and lung cancer.

The survey is available at www.psp.nihr.ac.uk/mesothelioma/survey

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test