The epicentre for mesothelioma research is believed to be the US, which could be the reason for there being a high volume of commercials focused on raising awareness on the illness.
The Cancer Organisation defines malignant mesothelioma as a “cancer that starts in cells in the linings of certain parts of the body, most commonly the linings of the chest or abdomen (belly).” However, when not malignant, mesothelioma can be very deadly when spreading or found in vital organs such as the heart and lungs.
Despite there being rare cases of such in the United States (US), as it is estimated that an average of 3 000 people were diagnosed with the cancer in 2020, the US is considered the epicentre for research into the rare cancer. According to the Cancer Organisation, “The rate of mesotheliomas in the United States increased from the 1970s to the early 1990s, but since then, it has levelled off and even gone down slightly. These changes have largely been seen in men, and are probably related to changes in workplace exposures to asbestos.”
The change can be attributed to the decrease in the use of asbestos, especially in professions like construction. The detrimental effects of asbestos outweighed the convenience of the product, hence the downward trend in the use of the material commonly attributed to the deadly cancer.
Understanding this dynamic puts into perspective the continuous airing of educational commercials on the matter. Advertising brings awareness to a matter that might be overlooked, and considering that mesothelioma is deadly when diagnosed too late, continuous funding into the cancer is vital. Therefore, because commercials continue to raise awareness on the cancer, it provides research centres with a context to address prospective funders for assistance.
This could be the reason for the influx of mesothelioma commercials. As such, there is no reason to halt the commercials; on the contrary, there should be a push for commercials of this nature to continue.