Week 22: Mesothelioma

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1. Is the incidence of this disease increasing or decreasing in the UK? Why?

Increasing. Although asbestos has been banned since 1985 in the UK, the lag period for developing mesothelioma can be up to 40 years. Hence the peak incidence is predicted to be 2015 by some reports.

2. Which fibre, exactly, is causative?

Amphibole fibres.

3. What are the treatment options?

No treatment unfortunately is curative. As such, palliative chemotherapy and palliative radiotherapy are commonly used, along with supportive measures such as analgaesia. Surgery has not be proven to be successful in this difficult disease.

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