Spreading awareness of mesothelioma

The following post is inspired by Heather Von St. James to spread awareness about mesothelioma. As the daughter of a parent who succumbed to cancer, I’m happy to share this space to help others take preventative care of themselves.

In 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to her daughter Lily Rose, Heather was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Upon learning of this life-altering diagnosis, she and her husband Cameron embarked upon a search to find the best mesothelioma treatment care available. Their search eventually led them to Dr. David Sugarbaker, a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston based Brigham and Women’s hospital.

Today, Heather is a nine-year mesothelioma cancer survivor and has made it her mission to help other mesothelioma victims around the globe. Heather was diagnosed November of 2006 and was given just 15 months to live. She shares her personal story to help spread hope and awareness for others going through this, in hopes that one day no one else will have to.

Mesothelioma is a word that we don’t hear very often.  Usually, it’s only when we’re half listening and we hear a snippet of a commercial on TV.  What we really don’t know and aren’t able to give more thought to is the fact that mesothelioma is caused by asbestos; a substance that still continues to be used in the United States today.

While there have been great strides in treatment for this disease, such as heated chemotherapy and pleurectomy, the disease often claims the lives of their victims.  After a diagnosis, most victims will lose their lives in about 2 years.

If your home was built before 1980, the chances are very high that it contains some form of asbestos material.  Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos that has been disturbed and is air bound.  There are three types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial.  Pleural mesothelioma is the most occurring type, accounting for 70% of total mesothelioma cases.

For more information, check out Heather’s informational blog.


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