Insulators Local 2 unites for its Mesothelioma 5K Race/Walk at North Park Boat House on Sunday, October 13, 2019 with registration starting at 8 a.m. In its mission to raise awareness and advocate for proactive measures in research, Insulators Local 2 wants to educate others on the topic of Mesothelioma.
For decades, asbestos was utilized in construction and other industries. In most cases, mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure and Insulators Local 2 understands the hazards of the material because there is no safe level of exposure and everyone is affected by it.
According to The Mesothelioma Center, the cancer develops when a person inhales or swallows asbestos fibers, in which the fibers travel to the lining of the lungs, stomach and heart. After a while, the lodged fibers damage mesothelial cells through inflammation and tumors begin to form. While on-the-job, it is a major risk factor for exposure in outdated buildings and infrastructures, and union members, veterans, and family members are all affected. Spouses, children and close family members are vulnerable to secondhand exposure from living with a person who is regularly exposed to asbestos.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive malignant tumor that has no mercy on the body. With its terminal ramifications, it painfully invades the lining of the lungs, heart or stomach until vital organs are shut down. Each victim has around 4 to 14 months on average after diagnosis, and standard treatments have a limited effect. As research develops, there is no found cure yet.
Primarily, the cancer is treated with aggressive conventional therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery offers the greatest chance of survival, but eligibility depends on the cancer spread and overall health of the patient. Additionally, 70% of patients undergo chemotherapy while radiation therapy is combined with surgery and chemotherapy. The intense medical treatments offer little security in fighting back once diagnosed, but emerging treatments are progressing as research prevails.
In clinical trials, patients can participate in experimental therapies, which in turn help researchers develop new treatments. Immunotherapy is a process in which experimental treatments use the immune system to battle mesothelioma and is performed through clinical trials. As treatment options expand, there is only a 40% chance of mesothelioma patients surviving at least 1 year.
In key factors, the stage and cell type affect the mesothelioma prognosis. Also, exposure history, age and gender are critical variables in determining the severity of the prognosis. Younger patients and women have a more promising prognosis than older men, and patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, or the cancer that forms on the outer lining of the abdomen, have a higher chance of survival. Ways to improve prognosis includes eating a nutritional-based diet, undergoing multiple treatment options and pursuing a healthy life.
Insulators Local 2 knows firsthand of the devastation and pain mesothelioma causes for the victim, families and loved ones. Though it may seem like a hopeless battle, determination, compassion and activism in the communities help fight for better treatment options. Local Insulators 2 is an outlet of support for affected families and friends, and the trade union plans to continue in its charitable efforts through the Mesothelioma 5K Walk/Run. Together, we can find hope through the power of education and community activism. See you on the start line coming your way on Sunday, October 13!