Welsh man telling others about his mesothelioma diagnosis

October 15th, 2006

Despite receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis in February 2006, former cabinet maker John Cotty is still trying to make a difference in his community. Cotty’s two sisters have organized a fundraiser in his name to raise money for a local hospice, and Cotty himself has gone public with the story of his illness in order to increase awareness of his disease.

Cotty went to the doctor in October 2005 with what he thought was a chest infection. When an X-ray revealed a shadow on his left lung, doctors ordered more tests. When the results came in, Cotty was given a mesothelioma diagnosis. Although he had an operation to remove part of his lung, Cotty’s mesothelioma treatment was unable to prevent his illness from growing worse.

He says that the main reason he has spoken to others about his illness is to encourage anyone who has worked with asbestos in the past get an X-ray if they begin to experience mesothelioma symptoms. Even he wasn’t initially aware of the link between his mesothelioma and asbestos products he used as a cabinet maker, Cotty says.

Asbestos was commonly used in building products for its insulating properties until the 1970s. Inhaling airborne asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the chest, heart or lungs. Although mesothelioma treatment options are available, the disease is almost always fatal.

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