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Asbestos lawyer welcomes new report which shows improving survival rates but warns of regional variations in care

New report shows improvement in the number of people diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) surviving for more than one year

Asbestos fibre

13 December 2016

A report funded by Mesothelioma UK shows improvement in the number of people diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) surviving for more than one year.

Harminder Bains, joint head of the asbestos and mesothelioma team at law firm Leigh Day, has welcomed the improvement in survival rate but warns that more must be done to tackle regional variations in treatment and intervention to ensure all patients are receiving the best possible care.

The report produced by the National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) at the Royal College of Physicians uses data from over 2,000 patients diagnosed with MPM in England during 2014.

The report is the second such audit and also shows an increase in the use of anti-cancer treatment and palliative chemotherapy for sufferers of MPM and a decrease in the use of radiotherapy. This is in comparison to the first audit in 2014.

The report has made a number of recommendations aimed at trusts including the provision of high quality information for patients to guide and support effective treatment decisions and the offer of active treatment, where appropriate, including palliative chemotherapy.

The report also recommends that all patients should be offered access to relevant clinical trials, regardless of geographical location.

Miss Bains has represented many people diagnosed with mesothelioma, and their families, including Winifred Goldstone, a 77-year-old former funeral arranger from Norfolk who received damages from her employer following a diagnosis of mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in her workplace. Miss Bains also secured compensation for Keith Winton who was exposed to asbestos while working at Heathrow Airport in the 1980s and was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2014.

Miss Bains said: “We welcome this report which we hope will provide valuable data and insight to help improve care and support for patients.

“Mesothelioma is a devastating disease and while it is encouraging to see an increase in one year survival rates, the overall survival rate for this disease is low.”

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