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NORTH EAST cancer charity FACT has launched a series of new sessions for those affected by asbestos related cancers, after shocking regional figures were revealed.

According to recent research, areas of the North East are among the highest ranked in Great Britain for deaths related to mesothelioma, an incurable aggressive lung cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure.

Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT) is running an advice session on Tuesday 17 October for people who have been diagnosed with an asbestos related cancer, their family, friends and carers, as well as those who have been bereaved. The group will offer free advice on what government benefits are available as well as other FACT services.

Joanne Smith, founder and CEO of FACT said: “This benefits advice session is aimed at helping people understand that they are not alone and there is help out there. The team at FACT are professionally trained to help individuals avoid unwanted and unneeded stress.

“Being diagnosed with cancer, or being a family member or friend of a sufferer can be an incredibly difficult experience, and financial worry is something that will affect a lot of people. This session will offer access to legal support, family support and benefits advice.

“Other services dedicated to mesothelioma and asbestos related cancers are also regularly available, as well as counselling services and drop in sessions.”

Due to the North East’s industrial heritage, levels of asbestos related cancers often related to working on industrial sites, are high in the region.

The research analysed regional figures over a 34-year period and found the highest rates of male mesothelioma related deaths were seen in the North East, South East and Scotland, and for females was the North East, East of England and London.

If you or a friend or family member are living with an asbestos related cancer and would benefit from support, please contact FACT on 0191 442 0833 or go to To make a donation please go to