Youngest to Be Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

Girl One of Youngest to Be Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

In the United Kingdom, a startling diagnosis for a 14-year-old girl has experts on asbestos-caused cancer once again shaking their heads and wondering how this happens.

Girl One of Youngest to Be Diagnosed with MesotheliomaMacie Greening, of Cullompton, Devon, England, is one of only nine children in the world who have ever been diagnosed with the peritoneal form of mesothelioma, which is rare and generally found in older individuals who worked with asbestos decades prior to their diagnosis.

According to media reports, the young lady has already gone through four rounds of chemotherapy and doctors say she is not responding to the usual treatments.

Now, they note, they will rely on clinical trials to address her illness and hope for some success with these potential new therapies.

They were hoping Macie could have surgery to address the tumors, but family members told reporters that they have learned that she is not a candidate for resection surgery.

Macie’s disease began in the peritoneum – the lining of the abdomen – and likely spread quickly to other parts of the body. Like other forms of mesothelioma, the peritoneal type is caused by inhaling or swallowing asbestos.

Only about 500 individuals in the U.K. are diagnosed with this form of the disease each year and the prognosis is not a good one for most victims, including Macie.

A recent crowd funding page set up to raise money to take Macie and other family members to Walt Disney World noted the following:

“The chemotherapy was not working so her consultant decided to stop the course. Macie’s consultant [oncologist] was exploring other options that are available to her, surgery being the main one, but in August, Macie had a laparoscopy to find out that surgery was not an option. We are not sure what will happen from here, but Macie is such a strong, beautiful young lady. She has already been through enough and is taking the whole situation in her stride, a true inspiration to all.”

There was no indication as to how or where Macie was exposed to asbestos, but often children are exposed through parents, grandparents, or others who work with asbestos and bring the dust home on their clothes.

Sometimes, curious children actually ingest pieces of asbestos found in places where renovation or demolition are occurring, unbeknown to parents or whoever was supposed to be supervising the child.

Or they may have been exposed to naturally-occurring asbestos, found in many places throughout the world.

Regardless of how exposure occurred, it is quite rare for children and teens to develop the disease but, sadly, when it occurs, those like Macie and her family face a grim reality.