“As a group, we fully and sincerely understand exactly what you are going through; from your diagnosis to your feelings of total shock and astonishment. Your confusion when your consultant asks if you have ever worked with asbestos. You may be in retirement or just about to and have fond memories of your past employers and struggle to understand the enormity of what you may have been unwittingly exposed to, a long time ago”

What do MAAPS do?

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Plymouth and South West (MAAPS) are a group of individuals whose aim is to campaign, raise funds and spread awareness about the ongoing health risks associated with exposure to asbestos. We also provide advice, support and friendship to victims of asbestos related diseases and their families in Plymouth and the South West.

 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral ideal for fireproofing and insulation. It is a known carciogen. When left alone and in good condition, asbestos usually isn’t a problem, however, serious diseases can arise when fibres are disturbed and inhaled or when they age and start to deteriorate. Anyone exposed to its microscopic deadly fibres are at an increased risk of developing the following diseases:

 

Mesothelioma -

Mesothelioma normally affects the outer lining of the lung. Symptoms usually start with breathlessness. This can often be caused due to the build up of fluid between the lung and the ribs. The condition is progressive, resulting in pain, fatigue and weight loss.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used to alleviate symptoms.

Mesothelioma is difficult to treat, but research continues into surgical techniques and drug therapy.

 

Lung cancer -

Many cases of lung cancer are due to smoking, but asbestos exposure substantially increases the risk of developing lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers. Lung cancer may be amenable to surgical treatment.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often used to treat sufferers.

 

Asbestosis -

Asbestosis is relatively rare. In general it affects workers who have been substantially exposed to asbestos over a period of time. The capacity of the lungs is reduced which leads to breathlessness and coughing. The condition is progressive and the symptoms can worsen over time.

 

Diffuse pleural thickening or fibrosis -

Diffuse pleural thickening or fibrosis is caused by the build up of scar tissue leading to the thickening of the outer lining of the lungs. This means the lungs are restricted when breathing in. Any physical exertion will become increasingly difficult. Fortunately the condition is relatively rare.

 

Pleural plaques -
Pleural plaques are an indicator of previous exposure to asbestos. They confirm previous asbestos exposure which could lead to the patient developing one of the asbestos illnesses detailed above. Very often pleural plaques are discovered by x-rays or scans showing small scars on the outer lining of the lung. Pleural plaques do not require any treatment as they do not usually cause any symptoms.

 

There are many different types of asbestos:

 

Crocidolite -

Crocidolite and is more commonly known as Blue Asbestos – this was used mainly in the textile industry and was banned from use in the UK in 1985.

 

Amosite -
Amosite and is more commonly known as Brown Asbestos – this was mainly used for insulation and was also banned from being used in the UK in 1985.

 

Chrysotile -
Chrysotile and is more commonly known as White Asbestos – this was used in both the textile and building industries and was banned from being used in the UK in 1999

 

THERE IS NO SAFE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS.

 

Prevention is currently the only cure. Do not put yourself or your family’s health at risk.

 

 

 

Mesothelioma Symptoms 

Mesothelioma can take up to 50 years to develop from initial exposure.

 

Asbestos causes 4,500 deaths a year in the UK, with approximately 2,500 people being diagnosed with mesothelioma alone. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, however, the sooner it is diagnosed, the earlier treatment can begin, which may improve a person's survival rate and quality of life.

 

If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms and have been exposed to asbestos in the past (or believe you might have been), please visit your GP mentioning your past history.

 

- Dry cough or hoarse voice that has lasted more than three weeks

- Shortness of breath or wheezing

- Persistent chest, back or shoulder pain

- Weight loss & reduction in appetite.

- Fatigue

- Abdominal Pain

 

 

 

Latest News

 

Donations

 

Plymouth and the South West are hot spots for mesothelioma with many cases emerging amongst former dockyard workers.

 

If you would like to make a donation to help us raise awareness and support those diagnosed with an asbestos related disease in Plymouth and the South West, please make a cheque payable to the 'South West Mesothelioma Support Group' (Plymouth Hospitals Charity: Registration No.1048679 - Hospital Trust Fund 1304) and send to the following address:

 

SWMSG c/o  23 Darwin Crescent, Plymouth, Devon  PL3 6DT.

 

Alternatively you can use online banking and the account number is 43041204, Sort code: 20-68-10

 

'Plymouth Lord Mayor's Nominated Charity'

 

The SWMSG has generously been chosen by Councillor Pauline Murphy as one of the charities to benefit from her year in office.(2016-17)

 

The Lord Mayor's 'Skittles and Pasty Night' will raise funds for the SWMSG and Frontline Veterans Support.

 

Date: Friday 29th July 2016

Venue: Plymouth BT Social Club (Behind Golden Hind)

 

Tickets are £5.00 in advance.

 

For more information contact Wally Wright on 01752 601750.

 

Everyone is welcome to come and support two very worthwhile local causes.

 

 

 

 

 

MORE NEWS

Aims of Group

Discuss the latest UK & Worldwide news in respect of asbestos.

 

Organise campaign activities & discuss how further asbestos awareness can be raised throughout the region.

 

Arrange fundraising events to raise money to facilitate the running of the South West Mesothelioma Support Group, for mesothelioma research and to purchase equipment which will help services support patients across the South West.

 

Invite guest speakers such as Specialist Mesothelioma Nurses and local law firms to offer medical and legal advice to patients and relatives.

 

Offer support and friendship.

 

Support Meetings

MAAPS is a support group for those diagnosed with any asbestos related condition. Carers and those bereaved can also find great comfort and support in the meetings.

 

As a group, we all have different asbestos exposure and mesothelioma stories to share.

 

It is a small and very friendly group of people and new members are always welcome. We have been a great source of comfort friendship and support to each other.

 

If you would like to join the group, please contact Wally Wright on 01752 601750 for further information.

 

Wally's Story

Wally Wright, was diagnosed with mesothelioma 4 years ago. He was exposed to asbestos dust whilst working as an electrician in and around London during the 60s/70s… read more

 

CONTACT US

Latest Tweet

“As a group, we fully and sincerely understand exactly what you are going through; from your diagnosis to your feelings of total shock and astonishment.  Your confusion when your consultant asks if you have ever worked with asbestos.  You may be in retirement or just about to and have fond memories of your past employers and struggle to understand the enormity of what you may have been unwittingly exposed to, a long time ago”