Funded by national cancer charity, Mesothelioma UK, the Military Experiences of Mesothelioma Study (MiMES) aims to explore the prevalence of the asbestos-related cancer - mesothelioma - among British armed forces veterans, to understand their experience and health/support needs, and to identify how health and legal professionals, and support agencies can best meet the needs of this group.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin membrane that lines the inner surface of the chest wall (the pleura), the abdomen (the peritoneum) and the testicles. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for nine out of ten mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a terminal disease, with 50 per cent of those diagnosed dying within 12 months.
2,700 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the UK each year and while the incidence among UK military veterans remains unknown, eight veterans per month claim war pensions due to a diagnosis of mesothelioma.