Why Church Leaders Should Care About Mesothelioma Survival Rates
Before we discuss this important topic of mesothelioma survival rates, please allow me to explain why this topic is being covered on a church leaders campfire blog post. The elderly comprise a large population in American churches today. Through which time period did they live in American history which affected millions of homes and are a main cause for insurance claims (medical insurance and home owner’s insurance) these past few decades? The answer and more after the Read More button.
Need for American Churches Leaders to Understand Mesothelioma Survival Rates
As of the time of this writing, the average age of adults in the church I serve as Senior Pastor is 64 years young. 66% of our congregation is 65 years or older. Concern over the mesothelioma survival rate applies to many of us!
I didn’t know what mesothelioma even was… until today. I discovered that it’s cancer.
Lord willing, my family and I are buying a house. Hunting for houses has been a trying experience! We’ve been looking at homes built before 1970 which carries the threat of asbestos.
What is asbestos? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,
“Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.”
In American houses:
1. some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
2. Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
3. Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
Mesothelioma Survival Rates
Back to understanding mesothelioma survival rates of American church members, I realize many people die of cancer. As my experiences have led me through churches of varying sizes and ages, I have also had the unique privilege of working as a VA hospital Chaplain on the palliative care ward. I have witnessed many dying or actively dying. I have cared for many families who’ve lost loved ones to cancer. As I’ve reflected on their lives and deaths, it occurred to me that of the older generations ahead of my own, many lived with asbestos and incurred its wrath of mesothelioma.
As I reflect on my own congregation, I wonder how many have been affected over the years or are even aware they might be affected? Scary. I love them and don’t want them to die. How about you and the church you serve?
According to an article from Asbestos.com, mesothelioma survival rates are rather dim.
“About 40 percent of patients with mesothelioma survive the first year after diagnosis. That survival rate depends on many factors, including age, cancer stage, cancer type, race and gender. Long-term survivors attribute their success to treatment from a mesothelioma specialist, alternative medicine and nutritional changes.”
Here are some additional statistics about mesothelioma survival rates, with an encouragement to stay positive:
Researchers describe mesothelioma survival rates in several ways. Think in terms of one-year survival: the percentage of people who survive for one year after diagnosis. Through research studies, longer survival times are also observed, such as the number of people who live two years, three years and five years. This scary disease claimed nearly 30,000 American lives between 1999 and 2010.
39 percent of U.S. patients live to the one year mark. By the second year, about 20 percent of patients are still alive. And by the third year, the number is 11 percent. 79 percent of all those who died between 1999 and 2005 were 65 years of age and older.
The chances unfortunately don’t look good for longevity. You as a church leader are going to face this issue directly some time in the near future, if you haven’t already. Remember the average age in the congregation I serve? 64 years young. Remember what percentage were 65 and older? 66%. Looks a potential crises on our hands.
So How Do Church Leaders Respond to these Mesothelioma Survival Rates?
First of all, understand more about mesothelioma survival rates. Love them. Learn from them. Lead them to leave a legacy. If they are in leadership, plan for their succession now. If apprenticeship is not something alive and well in your congregation, let me know, I’d be happy to help you put that plan and process into place. I highly recommend LeRoy Eims fantastic and well-proven work Lost Art of Disciple-Making as the first place to start.