- Why Most Mesothelioma Patients are Senior Citizens
- August 1, 2014
- Law Firm: Brayton Purcell LLP - Novato Office
Did you know that about 75% of mesothelioma patients are senior citizens? Our elders are some of those most at risk for a fatal diagnosis, but why?
Each year, thousands of individuals are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma is an illness that is caused by the exposure to asbestos fibers. For many patients, this exposure occurred decades ago at the jobsite, before asbestos was known to be a hazard to human health.
Asbestos was seen as a "miracle mineral" before the 1970's. It was used in thousands of consumer products, including hair dryers, home insulation, and so much more. It was the workers in those asbestos manufacturing plants and production sites that were exposed to asbestos all day, every day.
Unfortunately, this prolonged exposure can result in several asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. Symptoms can remain latent within the body for decades and are often mistaken for other respiratory diseases, like pneumonia. Some mesothelioma diagnoses are not actually made until 10 to 50 years after exposure has occurred.
Given that most doctors do not diagnose the disease until decades later, it is easy to understand how many patients are senior citizens before finding out about their condition.