Mesothelioma Not Just a Disease of the Elderly
While it’s true that the majority of mesothelioma cancer patients are over the age of 60, younger individuals who were exposed to asbestos shouldn’t just automatically assume that they are immune to the disease.
Consider the case of 30-year-old Brit, Liam Bradley, who has been recently diagnosed with the aggressive cancer. For Bradley, it was a surprise diagnosis that seemingly came out of nowhere.
Bradley was told he has pleural mesothelioma about a year ago and, at the time, doctors told him that his disease was “extremely rare” in individuals below the age of 50 and “unheard of” in people his age and – quite honestly – in anyone under the age of 40.
Still, Bradley must now face the reality that, though he’s in the minority, he’ll need to deal with the disease just like anyone else who’s unfortunate enough to develop it.
Luckily, however, for Liam Bradley, youth is on his side. Though doctors found the disease after a series of events following a fall from a roof, he is currently symptom-free and the tumors on the outside of his lung are the size of a grain of sand, reports the Nottingham Post, noting that Bradley is able to carry on with life as normal for now.
“The prognosis, at the moment, is really good. I could be alive for another 50 years, but I could be alive for another year. It’s so weird,” the husband and father on one added. Currently, he doesn’t require any treatment and, so far, the cancer hasn’t appeared to have grown.
Still, Bradley has no idea where he was exposed to asbestos but only knows that it happened somewhere, likely while he was growing up or during time spent working as a roofer.
But, nonetheless, the scenario is unusual. Generally, those who might be exposed to asbestos in their 20s or 30s won’t develop any sort of related disease until decades later.
Obviously, however, there are exceptions to the rule.
But while he’s healthy, Bradley is taking the time to give back to other, less-healthy mesothelioma patients by trying to raise money to fund a new clinical trial in the United Kingdom. Mesothelioma UK, a local organization that aids meso patients, is helping him as he undertakes a variety of fundraisers, including a 1400 km bike ride from his home in Lincolnshire to Alicante, Spain.
“Sadly, asbestos is the only known cause and it’s completely preventable,” stresses Liz Darlison of Mesothelioma UK, explaining that though Bradley is a rarity, there are others like him and there will be more until all countries ban the use of the toxic mineral.