Mesothelioma UK has launched a specialist, UK-wide service for Armed Forces personnel and veterans. This new service is called ‘Mesothelioma UK – Supporting our Armed Forces’.
In 2016, Mesothelioma UK applied for funding through a grant to support a specialist service for armed forces personnel and veterans who have been affected by mesothelioma, the asbestos related cancer. The funding is supporting a three-year project, aimed at raising awareness of the disease and establishing a shared approach to providing information and support for Armed Forces personnel and veterans.
In the last century, asbestos was widely used throughout the UK including within areas of the Defence Estate and Crown Estate. Many UK citizens, including members of the Armed Forces, have come into direct contact with asbestos, either through handling products with which they were working or in the buildings/other assets in which they were working or living including ships, tanks and aircraft. This also applies to defence contractors and civilians working under contract for the MOD and/or Crown Estate.
Key facts and figures:
- The UK has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world with around 2,700 cases per year
- 84% of those diagnosed are male
- The average age for someone diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma is 75 years
- Currently eight veterans per month are claiming war pension due to a diagnosis of mesothelioma*
*Statistics from TheyWorkForYou open data from UK Parliament