Portsmouth one of highest for mesothelioma deaths

Workers take a break at the Dockyard
Workers take a break at the Dockyard

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FIGURES have revealed the number of people who have died from asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.

The data, from the Health and Safety Executive, revealed Portsmouth was among the highest in the UK with 395 men dying from the illness in 2015.

There are many clinical trials taking place up and down the country, some of which are having great successes in improving prognoses for patients.

Anne Moylan

Only Plymouth (534) and North Tyneside (491) had more than the city with Barrow-in-Furness, West Dunbartonshire and South Tynside making up the rest of the top six.

Anne Moylan, Mesothelioma UK clinical nurse specialist for Portsmouth, said: ‘While the numbers released by the HSE are high, we are here to provide both care and support for patients and funds for research which will hopefully identify new treatments.

‘There are many clinical trials taking place up and down the country, some of which are having great successes in improving prognoses for patients.’

She added: ‘We are well on our way to providing a comprehensive team of clinical nurse specialists to cover the whole of the UK.

‘We currently fund 13 nurses around the country, including ones in the high incidence areas such as the North East, Portsmouth and Plymouth.

‘We aim to increase the number of nurses to 28 over the next five years to support the NHS to drive up standards and ensure patients have access to world-class treatment, trials and care.’

There were 2,542 mesothelioma deaths in 2015, an increase from 2,519 in 2014.

Of the 2,542, 407 deaths were among women.

The highest areas in the UK for women dying from mesothelioma are Barking and Dagenham, Sunderland, Newham, West Dunbartonshire, Barrow-in-Furness and Leeds.

The results show that areas with the highest excess of mesothelioma in men tend to be those containing industrial sites known to have been associated with asbestos in the past, such as shipyards.

But analysis suggests 
asbestos exposures in the construction industry also account for a substantial proportion of mesothelioma deaths.

The latest projections suggest there will continue to be around 2,500 deaths per year for the rest of this current decade before annual numbers begin to decline.