Health and Family Services Cabinet
Sept. 26 is Mesothelioma Awareness Day
In an effort to make more Kentuckians aware of a serious health concern, Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed Sept. 26, 2010 Mesothelioma Awareness Day in Kentucky.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that has been linked to asbestos exposure and other environmental factors. The disease affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen and heart and approximately 3,000 Americans die each year because of it.
“Even though it is relatively rare, mesothelioma is a serious disease that can develop years after someone has been initially exposed to asbestos,” said William Hacker, M.D., commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Therefore, it is important for the public to be aware of the risk factors for exposure; know the early signs and symptoms of disease; and develop a medical history with a regular health care provider.”
According to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Kentucky is ranked 27th in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 197 deaths between 1999 and 2005, 28 of those in 2005.
Mesothelioma Awareness Day will be recognized in cities and states nationwide and various areas have planned activities around the observance. In Kentucky, the awareness day will become an annual event following an action by the 2010 Kentucky General Assembly, which passed legislation requiring that Kentucky observe Sept. 26 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day every year.
For more information about mesothelioma, visit the American Cancer Society’s website at http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/MalignantMesothelioma/DetailedGuide/index or the
National Cancer Institute’s site at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/mesothelioma.