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5 reasons to support mesothelioma research

Penny explains why increased mesothelioma research funding is vital - and how you can help.


We're joining patients and loved ones up and down the country to campaign for greater research funding for the deadly cancer, mesothelioma.

The idea is not to burden the ordinary person, or even the government, by asking for more money, but to get multi-million pound insurance companies to donate just a tiny percentage of the amount they are expected to spend on future mesothelioma compensation payments.

Here are five reasons why research need more funding.

1. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer with no cure

Mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs caused by breathing in asbestos, kills around 2,500 people a year in the UK - this makes us the worst affected country in the world.

There are very few effective treatments for mesothelioma and no cure, meaning there is little hope for someone who develops the cancer. Most will die within months of their diagnosis and fewer than one in ten will survive three years.

2. Investment into research is severely underfunded

This devastating disease kills a similar number of people to other cancers, such as skin cancer, yet investment into research is severely underfunded.

New data released a couple of months ago shows a steady increase in the number of people dying of mesothelioma every year in the UK, and it is estimated that around 60,000 people will die from this disease over the next 30 years.

Finding new and effective treatments is absolutely crucial if we are to save the thousands of people who are at risk of developing mesothelioma.

3. Insurance companies already have money set aside for mesothelioma compensation pay-outs

Every year insurance companies pay out millions of pounds in compensation to people with mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

Insurance companies are expected to pay out an estimated £11bn in future mesothelioma compensation awards. If even a tiny fraction of this was donated to research, say 0.05 per cent every year, it could fundamentally transform mesothelioma care.

4. It won’t cost the tax-payer a penny

We know that the country’s finances are tight. By asking insurers to donate this small amount every year, tax-payers would incur no extra cost. In fact, the scheme could save insurers money in the long-term.

With mesothelioma patients living longer as a result of better treatments, the amount of compensation the industry would have to pay out would be greatly reduced. Saving lives could potentially save them millions.

5. More research = more hope

Many people affected by mesothelioma, both patients and loved ones, have told me that they would gladly give up all their compensation if it meant that they had better treatments.

What would be mere loose change to these insurance companies could help the thousands of people in the UK that will develop mesothelioma in the coming decades to find that glimmer of hope.


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10 September 2014