Mesothelioma has been reported more among those in the military and those in blue-collar professions. However, mesothelioma has been felt by the low and mighty alike across various other professions that should have been less likely. Reading the stories of these famous people can be a source of motivation to those battling with the ailment.
Mesothelioma is diagnosed among three thousand Americans
Cancer comes in different forms and would mostly take after the name of the part of the body they affect. Mesothelioma is among the rare forms of cancer with an estimated 3000 new diagnosis per annum. Exposure to asbestos has been identified as the common link between all the patients of mesothelioma.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral
Asbestos fibers have been exploited in various industries including the automobile industries, in construction industries as roofing materials and sparsely in paint industries. This naturally occurring mineral is toxic and is released into the air to be inhaled when the material in which it is contained ruptures.
Mesothelioma has a long latency period
The manifestation of mesothelioma takes between fifteen and fifty years after exposure. The initial symptoms usually resemble those of common respiratory infections which are subjected to misdiagnosis. The majority of the cases are discovered among patients in their late fifties and above. Some of the most famous people that have battled mesothelioma are listed below.
1. Joe Sample (1939 – 2014)
Joe was born in Houston but made a name as a jazz musician. He was famous for redefining the boundary of jazz music by infusing it with influences of soul sound and blues. He went solo after his initial band Crusaders disbanded and worked with performers like Steely Dan, Jimmy Witherspoon, Eric Clapton and so on. He died of mesothelioma cancer at the age of 75 although his family did not report in detail about how he developed this asbestos based cancer.
2. Ed Lauter (1938 – 2013)
Lauter played mostly supporting role throughout his forty years reign in the television and film industry. He was diagnosed of pleural mesothelioma in 2013 and died in less than six months later. He has featured in more than two hundred movies where he played a variety of roles. He was most popular for his roles in crime movies.
3. Terry McCann (1934 – 2006)
Terry worked for two years in an oil refinery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before he won a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics. It was there that he was exposed to a deadly dose of asbestos fibers. Forty years after the Olympics, he took up jobs as a career coach and also had a stint with fitness business. When he was later diagnosed with mesothelioma, he spoke out against the corporation producing the toxic product.
4. Warren Zevon (1947 – 2003)
‘Werewolves of London’, and ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’ are some of the songs that brought Warren to the limelight. Soon after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2002, he produced his last album titled ‘The Wind’. He worked with legendary musicians and songwriters like himself and his son has been chairing the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).
5. Sean Sasser (1968 – 2013)
Sasser with the help of Pedro Zamora helped erase the cultural barriers in America. He became famous running a program on television for MTV. He was the first gay and HIV-positive couple to openly declare his status on television. But, he was diagnosed of mesothelioma which is mainly the cause of his death. According to the medical report about his cancer growth, chronic immune-suppression enhances susceptibility to mesothelioma.
6. Admiral Elmo ZumwaltJr (1920 – 2000)
He was a highly decorated veteran and the youngest to serve as U.S Chief of Naval Operations. His exposure to asbestos was believed to be during his career in the Navy because the ships were often loaded with toxic substances. His son also died from cancer at the age of 42.
- A good number of famous people have died from mesothelioma.
- Some of them have a history of exposure to asbestos while the record is not available for others.
- Mesothelioma is a form of cancer linked to asbestos inhalation.
- Sharing stories of mesothelioma victims can motivate those that are newly diagnosed.
- Cancer is named after the area of the body it affects.
- Asbestos fibers are used for different purposes.
- It takes many years for mesothelioma to show symptoms.
- The popular musician Joe Sample died from mesothelioma.
- Admiral Elmo ZumwaltJr was exposed to asbestos in naval ships.
- Ed Lauter died less than six months after his diagnosis with mesothelioma.
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