One of the most common illnesses linked to asbestos exposure in Australia is mesothelioma, which is a cancer that usually develops either in the lining of the lungs or the stomach.
Lung-based diagnoses, known as pleural mesothelioma, are far more common than abdominal – or peritoneum – mesothelioma. Safe Work Australia figures show that pleural mesothelioma has accounted for 93 per cent of cases since 1982.
The Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR) began tracking the number of people diagnosed with the disease annually in 2011. In its latest report, the organisation revealed that 650 people in the country were diagnosed with the illness in 2015.
Australia has one of the highest incidences of mesothelioma in the world, with the country a historic asbestos producer and previously among the largest users of the hazardous material per capita globally.
What is the outlook for mesothelioma?
Sadly, the prognosis for mesothelioma is poor and the disease is almost always fatal due to the advanced stage at which doctors often discover the illness.
The AMR cited figures that showed the average life expectancy of someone with mesothelioma is just nine months following diagnosis, with few patients surviving more than two years even after aggressive treatment.
However, studies have indicated that individuals can live as long as twice the median survival rate. The UK's NHS claimed that around 10 per cent of mesothelioma sufferers live for five years or more before passing away.
Most treatments centre on palliative care, which means alleviating the worst effects of the symptoms to improve quality of life prior to death. This is also known as end-of-life care.
Claiming compensation for mesothelioma
People who were exposed to asbestos during their career may be eligible to claim compensation if they later develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
Occupations where asbestos may be encountered include construction and renovation, industrial manufacturing and firefighting.
However, mesothelioma sufferers may not have long to begin the claims process because of the poor prognosis for most individuals after diagnosis.
If you have recently discovered you have mesothelioma or another dust disease, you should contact an experienced compensation lawyer as quickly as possible.
The payout you receive can provide crucial financial support for medical bills, living costs and ongoing family welfare in the event of a sudden death. Please contact us today to learn more about our services.