Mesothelioma treatment planning to be led by specialist nurses

With numbers of mesothelioma cases rising every year, health authorities are suggesting more professional help is necessary to keep asbestos related diseases under control. In fact, it has been predicted that Australia can expect an 80 per cent increase in new mesothelioma diagnoses by 2020. The country already has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world, with 661 new cases documented in 2008 and 606 deaths caused by mesothelioma in 2011.

These statistics have encouraged 10 specialist nurses to be trained to lead treatment planning. It has also seen a change in the law, with Canberra, in a national first, now making it mandatory for construction workers to undergo asbestos training to prevent new cases emerging over coming decades.

In the past, asbestos was once a popular construction material for insulation and other building uses in the 1950s. The 1980s saw the material banned when the cancer caused by asbestos became apparent, as mesothelioma does not become active until 20 to 40 years after initial exposure.

The nursing graduates trained on mesothelioma will lead local treatment of patients in Canberra, which is known for having some of the worst asbestos exposure records. All nurses undertook the training voluntarily. They completed it outside of their regular working hours throughout the year through an online education program, clinical activities within their own hospitals and attending a four-day workshop in Sydney.

Asbestos is a serious issue and it is important that we work together to make a positive change. If you would like to find out more about the changing laws regarding asbestos or you are looking for support for you or someone affected by asbestos, get in touch with the Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Association of Australia on 1800 017 758
or via the online enquiry form today.