The annual Action Mesothelioma Day raises awareness and pays tribute to people suffering with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma. This year, it is being held on Friday 1st July across the country.
The UK has the world’s highest rate of mesothelioma, with more than 2,500 people diagnosed with the condition each year – and this number is increasing. The rising number of people being diagnosed with mesothelioma has been directly linked to the UK’s continued import and use of deadly asbestos well into the 1990s.
Each year, hundreds of people gather in cities across the UK to raise awareness of mesothelioma, to call for better treatment and care for mesothelioma sufferers, for prevention of exposure to asbestos and to ban the export of asbestos to developing countries.
In Manchester, families affected by asbestos-related diseases release doves as a public act of remembrance for all those who have died from mesothelioma, with a public meeting held afterwards.
This year, we will be joining many of you on Action Mesothelioma Day in releasing doves in memory of those who have died from mesothelioma.
The ceremony will be held in Lincoln Square off Brazennose Street in Greater Manchester from 12:30pm on Friday 1st July for the dove release. Everyone is then welcome to attend a public meeting calling for a national mesothelioma strategy, from 1-2pm at the Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS (near the Town Hall).
Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK Director of Services and Consultant Nurse, said: “We invite local families, patients and carers to join us on Action Mesothelioma Day to pay tribute to those people affected by mesothelioma and also to help raise awareness about the genuine sinister consequences that asbestos can have.”
Birchall Blackburn Law’s own Helen Bradley, who specialises in asbestos disease, has attended Action Mesothelioma Day in Manchester every year.
“Action Mesothelioma Day is incredibly moving and it is an honour to be a part of it. To see so many families gathered in the city, carrying pictures of their loved ones lost to this disease, and standing up to fight for justice for the sufferers of mesothelioma,” says Helen.
“There’s a huge feeling of ‘togetherness’, and we all know that we need to put pressure onto the decision makers so that more is contributed to the costs of essential research into this devastating disease.
“The message has always been a universal one of hope, and this year will be no different. We will all continue to campaign so that we can improve the plight of the thousands of people each year who are diagnosed with mesothelioma.”
Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. Mesothelioma affects the thin membrane (pleura) that covers the lungs.
It is a rare cancer, but it is becoming increasingly more common. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that more than 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK each year and according to the Department for Health and Pensions, 53,000 people will die from mesothelioma between 2013 and 2037.
There are about 5 times as many cases of the deadly lung cancer in men as there are in women. This is most likely because the majority of cases are found in an older generation of skilled and manual workmen who were exposed to asbestos dust and fibres during their working life.
Mesothelioma UK is a national resource centre dedicated to providing specialist mesothelioma information, support and improved care and treatment for all UK mesothelioma patients, their carers and health care professionals. The centre promotes the development of Specialist Mesothelioma Nursing practice and funds 11 specialist nursing posts around the UK.