The end of the year traditionally offers us a moment to pause and reflect on all that life has brought us. We hope we can say we end the year wiser than we started it. So, what have we learned as we look at the lessons we’ve taken from 2022?
This year, we learned that there’s still a lot of confusion around asbestos and mesothelioma. Our Top 6 blogs from 2022 reflected this fact. They showed a continued need for clear answers and, perhaps, some frustration that the United States still has not entirely banned a deadly carcinogen.
Clearing up the confusion around mesothelioma
Three of our top-performing blogs addressed the sorts of questions people ask when they first learn about mesothelioma:
- Correcting 3 mesothelioma misconceptions: This blog explored the myth that there are no treatments for mesothelioma. While there’s no reliable cure, there are several valuable courses of treatment. It also explored the risks presented by asbestos.
- Why is it hard to diagnose mesothelioma?: Mesothelioma has always been difficult to diagnose, but the demographics for the disease are changing. This blog explores those changes and the symptoms people should watch out for.
- Which factors most influence mesothelioma survival rates?: A recent study explored the factors associated with the best treatment outcomes. The good news? Your income was not a leading factor. People of all socioeconomic backgrounds can enjoy high-quality treatment.
Often, the questions these blogs ask and answer become important after victims, or family members, receive a diagnosis. Even though doctors have understood the connection between asbestos and diagnosis for decades, these questions still need answers because the disease is rare.
At the same time, the blogs highlight the changes in mesothelioma demographics and treatment options. We may not see an imminent cure, but we’re moving in the right direction.
Baffled by the ongoing threat of asbestos
While half of our top-performing blogs answered questions about mesothelioma, the other half asked questions about asbestos. Namely, why do people still suffer from asbestos exposure decades after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first tried to ban it?
The blogs reflect this general concern, as well as several variations on it:
- Settlements with EPA could close gaps in asbestos evaluation: At the end of 2021, the EPA settled two cases with various parties. These cases forced the EPA to reevaluate the risk presented by asbestos. The agency would have to look at the effects of all six asbestos fibers rather than limiting its reports as it had in the past.
- What’s behind the sudden surge in asbestos imports?: Meanwhile, as the EPA was looking at closing down some loopholes, the beginning of 2022 saw a surge of asbestos imports. The United States imported more asbestos in the first three months of 2022 than in 2021.
- Are there seasonal risks of asbestos exposure?: Most people who develop mesothelioma do so after working in jobs with a high risk of asbestos exposure. However, this blog looked at a few ways people can suffer asbestos exposure outside of work.
The good news is that, despite the early surge in asbestos imports, asbestos use in the United States is only a small fraction of what it used to be. This means we’ve seen a reduction in mesothelioma diagnoses across most demographics. We can only hope the door will someday close all the way, and we can move toward a final solution.
What will the future bring in 2023?
While we don’t know what the future may bring, you can rest assured that we’ll be keeping up with the latest developments. Researchers continue looking for newer and better ways of helping mesothelioma victims. Over the years, they have made things better, one step at a time.
Throughout 2023, we will keep our eyes open for more about this research. We’ll keep asking the important questions. We’ll keep looking for good news about new mesothelioma treatments. And we’ll share as much of it as possible with you.