Organizers of the annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day are encouraging patients, families, advocates and those who have lost loved ones to wear blue on Saturday, September 26th to help bring attention to a disease that kills nearly 3,000 Americans annually and as many as 100,000 around the world.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day was organized in 2004 and has since been given official proclamations by both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. It has been a significant force behind the movement to bring more awareness and research funding to this rare and devastating – but preventable – cancer.
Mesothelioma is the most deadly of the diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. It causes cancer cells to grow on the membranes that surround the lungs, heart, or abdominal organs, often many decades after the original exposure. The aggressive nature of mesothelioma and the irregular shape of these membrane tumors make it one of the hardest cancers to treat. Mesothelioma rarely responds to conventional therapies, making the need for research dollars to study alternative treatments even more pressing.
Mesothelioma survivor Paul Kraus is a dramatic example of the potential power of alternative approaches to mesothelioma. At 70, Kraus is the longest-living documented mesothelioma survivor in the world. He was diagnosed in 1997 and told that mainstream medicine could do nothing for him. Doctors did not expect Kraus to live more than six months.
Now, 18 years later, Kraus credits his long survival to radical changes in his lifestyle. He details those changes in his best-selling book “Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide”, which is available by clicking here.
Like nearly every mesothelioma patient, Kraus was exposed to asbestos unknowingly on the job. To help prevent more cases like Kraus’, Mesothelioma Awareness Day organizers continue to push for an asbestos ban in the US. Fifty-five other countries have banned asbestos, but the US has only agreed to regulate its use and handling. Mesothelioma Awareness Day activities are planned throughout the country.