According to a story from the Lancashire Telegraph, Dr. John Timms, age 48, was recently diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer: mesothelioma. Dr. Timms had committed much of his career to researching cancer. Now, he only has a few years left to live, and his family is looking for answers.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the linings of the many of the body’s internal organs, and is most commonly found along the lining of the lungs or chest cavity. This lining is called the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is best known as the type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos exposure is the cause in the majority of cases, around 80 percent. Cancer can appear over 40 years after the patient was exposed. Symptoms include coughing up blood, wheezing/hoarseness, fatigue, anemia, chest pain, fluid surrounding the lung, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may vary depending on where the cancer is located. Long term survival is rare for mesothelioma patients, with a five year survival rate of only eight percent. It is generally resistant to conventional forms of treatment. To learn more about mesothelioma, click here.
For Dr. Timms and his family, that mystery is now to understand when he could have been exposed to asbestos. Historically, some patients have successfully collected damages after contracting diseases related to asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma. Asbestos was commonly used in construction and a variety of other applications before that severe health risks that is posed were understood.
John Timms grew up in the Blackburn area, and now his legal team has smelled blood in the water; they suspect that John was exposed to the toxic substance while he attended school in the area as a child. The doctor also remembers during his younger years that asbestos was not disposed of properly in the area, and was left out in the open, which would be another potential incident of exposure.
John does not believe that the exposure could have happened more recently during his career. While there is probably no chance for John’s life to be saved, his search for answers continues.