Deadly Cancer Disproportionately Affects Our Veterans

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On Veterans Day, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) raises awareness of deadly cancer that disproportionately affects the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

As a result of asbestos exposure while serving, a disproportionate number of our veterans are at risk for developing mesothelioma. One third of the 3,000 Americans who develop this cancer every year either served in the Navy or worked in shipyards.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer connected with exposure to asbestos. Due to its latency period of several decades, the development of disease is mostly unexpected. As a result of asbestos exposure while serving, a disproportionate number of our veterans are at risk for developing mesothelioma. In fact, the Meso Foundation reports that one third of the 3,000 Americans who develop this cancer every year either served in the Navy or worked in shipyards.

Asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral, was, until very recently, heavily used in construction and shipbuilding. Due to its insulation and heat resistant properties, there was virtually no place on a ship where asbestos was not used.

“Because mesothelioma is quite difficult to diagnose, we would like to encourage all veterans to inform their healthcare providers if they have ever been in contact with asbestos, even if it was many years ago,” said Maja Belamaric, Meso Foundation’s director of communications. “An earlier diagnosis generally affords more treatment options with a better prognosis.”

She added that veterans who wish to learn more can visit http://www.curemeso.org, which is the website for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. “The Foundation also provides support services as a free resource for anyone affected by this cancer.”

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. With the life expectancy of less than one year after diagnosis, medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. Currently, few treatment options exist. There is no cure.

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer-reviewed scientific research to develop life-saving treatments for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $8.7 million to research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.
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Maja Belamaric
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
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