According to the ever-reliable Radio Times, a character in the popular ITV soap opera Emmerdale has revealed that she has terminal mesothelioma. The plotline is likely to follow Donna over the course of the next few months as she reveals her condition to those around her.
According to our own asbestos awareness course:
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the membrane lining (pleura) of the chest cavity.
The cancer can take 30 – 40 years after initial exposure to develop. However, it is usually fatal within 2 years – and often less than that.
It is also incurable.
A story like this in one of the UK’s most well-known and widely watched programmes will inevitably raise public awareness of asbestos-related diseases. It will be interesting to see how the storyline develops, particularly given that the character suffering the disease is still only in her 20s.
According to the HSE’s figures, over 2000 people die from mesothelioma per year in the UK. That figure increases to 4500 for all asbestos-related deaths.