New Cancer Study Brings More Bad News for Asbestos Victims

Monday, 8 August 2011

The American Cancer Society recently released a new study recognizes a widening gap in the cancer death rate between those who are college educated and those with only a high school degree. This study represents what some would consider additional bad news for those who have been exposed to asbestos and may be fighting a disease like mesothelioma.

It is well documented that victims of asbestos exposure tend to be "blue collar" workers in shipyards, factories or other manufacturing jobs which generally do not require higher education such as a college degree. This trend is seemingly supported by the findings in this new study which concludes that while the overall cancer rates seem to be declining, the improvements are only for certain groups and for those with lower education they are actually getting worse.

New figures

The new figures estimate there will be 1.6 million new cancer cases in the United States this year (2011), and 571,950 deaths. Among some of the more notable individual statistics included:

• There mortality rate was almost triple for men with at last 16 years of schooling than those with 12 years of school

• The mortality rate for women was roughly double for the same circumstances

• Lung cancer is still estimated to be the leading cause of cancer deaths in both males and females

• California, New York and Florida were the top 3 states on the list for new cancer cases

Types of cancer likely a factor

In today's world, the type of cancer being diagnosed and treated can have a huge impact on the survival rate. Certain types such as melanoma have higher survival rates than others such as lung cancer or mesothelioma. In fact, there is no known successful treatment or cure for mesothelioma which adds to statistics like those in the study showing that higher education levels somehow correspond to survival rates.

Other factors to consider

Among the other factors impacting a study like this are the lifestyle implications that are associated with various education levels. Some of which have a significant bearing on your chances of getting or ultimately surviving cancer and may include:

• Likelihood to take risks either in their personal lives or the workplace

• Participation in unhealthy lifestyles that contribute to cancer such as smoking, drinking, overeating and other health factors.

• Ability to afford medical care and insurance and get treatment immediately when symptoms first arise.

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