Mesothelioma and Rural Health
How does mesothelioma affect those living in rural areas?
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer caused only by previous exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a fibrous, naturally-occurring mineral that was used for several years as an industrial insulation component as well as a durability enhancer in several consumer products. Many of the areas from which asbestos was mined were rural areas, which used the local workforce to extract the mineral from the ground.
Unfortunately, those who worked in asbestos mines or other mines where asbestos could be found often inhaled the harmful fibers. This occurred specifically in the small town of Libby, Montana, where nearly an entire town was sickened by the nearby vermiculite mine. Those who worked in the mine developed breathing complications and mesothelioma. Many of the families and children of the miners were affected as well, as workers often brought home the harmful asbestos fibers on their clothing and person. Over time, bodily contact with a worker who was contaminated with asbestos, or contact with the person’s clothing led many of these family members to develop respiratory disorders as a result of this exposure.
How do those living in rural areas receive the best mesothelioma treatment?
Rural areas, as many know, do not always feature the type of health facilities that you find in urban areas and bigger cities, leaving many who live in these areas without access to more comprehensive or specialized care centers. When facing a diagnosis such as mesothelioma, it is important to know where to find the best possible treatment options for a particular patient’s circumstances.
In all likelihood, the care available at local health centers will not be adequate to adequately treat an aggressive malignancy such as mesothelioma. More often, local physicians will refer mesothelioma patients to large cancer treatment and research centers. Below are some of the more prominent treatment centers with expertise in malignant mesothelioma.
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Mayo Clinic 1216 Second Street SW, Rochester MN 55902
Dana Farber Cancer Institute 44 Binney Street, Boston MA, 02115
University of South Florida H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa FL, 33612
Last modified: December 24, 2010.