A young woman believed to be Britain’s youngest mesothelioma patient, at age 28, passed away last week, just two years after her diagnosis, according to a story in the Daily Mail. Leigh Carlisle, who grew up in Manchester, had peritoneal mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the abdomen.
Because of its long latency period – from 20 up to 50 years – mesothelioma usually occurs in older people, age 50 and older. For that reason, Carlisle’s mesothelioma eluded diagnosis early on, with doctors mistaking her symptoms for ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pelvic infection and endometriosis. Doctors were stunned when they diagnosed peritoneal mesothelioma.
Because of her young age, researchers believe Carlisle may have come in contact with asbestos – the only known cause of mesothelioma – in her school, or possibly from a factory yard near her childhood home, which she used as a shortcut on her way to school each day. Asbestos sheets were cut at the yard.
According to the report, about 2,000 people in Britain die from mesothelioma each year, a figure that has doubled since 1992. The paper reports that 90,000 people in the UK will die from the disease, and another 90,000 from other asbestos-related lung diseases.
Additionally, the report says about 200 school workers have died or are suffering from illnesses related to asbestos exposure in schools in Britain, where it is estimated that about 13,000 schools still contain asbestos.
Following her diagnosis, Carlisle worked for mesothelioma and asbestos awareness. Her family requests that donations in her memory be made to the Oldham Cancer Support Centre in Failsworth:
Oldham Cancer Support Centre
Failsworth Primary Care Centre
Ashton Road West
Tel: 0161 906 2940