Diseases caused by Asbestos Exposure
Following are the main diseases caused due asbestos exposure.
— Lung Cancer
Asbestosis is a chronic and restrictive lung disease. It is caused by inhalation of asbestos particles over a period of time. Asbestosis takes approximately 15 to 20 years to show its effects.
Persons suffering from asbestosis are more prone to develop bronchitis and pneumonia.
Symptoms of Asbestosis may include one or more of the following.
— Shortness of breath
— Difficulty in breathing
— Constant dry cough
— Constant pain in the chest
— Pulmonary hypertension
— Excess phlegm
There is currently no total cure for asbestosis. Treatment of asbestosis begins with ending exposure to all sorts and forms of lung irritants. Exposure to asbestos fibers must be stopped immediately. Smokers diagnosed with asbestosis have a higher risk of developing lung cancer and smoking must be stopped immediately.
Treatments available to manage the symptoms of asbestosis include vaccines and medication.
Persons diagnosed with asbestosis are vaccinated annually for flu and periodically as required for pneumonia.
Asthmatic patients suffering from asbestosis are prescribed medication to relieve the symptoms of asthma. In more severe cases antibiotics could be used to treat and cure lung infections.
It is very important to maintain clean surroundings and proper hygiene if diagnosed with asbestosis. Any respiratory infection could lead to more serious complications due to the presence of asbestosis.
Lung Cancer Treatment
Lung cancer due to asbestos occurs when the person has had asbestos exposure over a period of time.
Symptoms of lung cancer may include one or more of the following.
— Dry, irritating cough
— Increase in sputum production
— Blood mixed with sputum
— Chest pain
— Lung infection
The treatment of lung cancer will depend upon how much the cancer has spread, the location and size of the tumor.
Treatment options could include one or more of the following.
— Photodynamic therapy
Chemotherapy makes use of cytotoxic (anticancer) medication, and a variety of drugs and chemicals that are meant to kill the cancer cells.
Radiotherapy (radiation therapy) involves using a localized high-dose of radiation on malignant tumors, destroying the cancer cells in the targeted area.
Photodynamic therapy uses laser light to destroy the cancerous cells. A special chemical is injected into the bloodstream and absorbed by the cancerous cells. Laser light is then used to activate the chemical and destroy the cancerous cells. This therapy comes with a host of side effects that include nausea and vomiting. The skin and eyes get extremely sensitive to light for approximately six weeks after treatment.
Surgery will depend on the extent the cancer has spread. It could include removal of a small part of the lung, removal of an entire lobe of the lung, or in extreme cases the removal of an entire lung. Healthy patients could recover to reasonable levels even after an entire lung is removed. Those who have had a history of smoking may not recover as well and could suffer from constant shortness of breath.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleura (lung lining).
Mesothelioma takes approximately 20 to 30 years to develop and show its effects. It is one of the most fatal, aggressive and painful cancers, almost always leading to death.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma may include one or more of the following.
— Shortness of breath which keeps on increasing as the disease progresses
— Extreme difficulty in breathing due to lung compression caused by the disease
— Constant pain in the chest which ranges from mild to severe pain
— Unexplained sudden abdominal swelling and pain
— Unexplained weight loss
Treatments for Mesothelioma include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery; the same treatment as that for lung cancer.
Surgery is usually required in treating mesothelioma. This can include removal of a part of the lining of the chest and infected tissue around it. If detected as pleural cancer, a lung may be removed in an operation known as pneumonectomy. In rare cases a part of the muscle below the lungs that aid in breathing (diaphragm) could be removed.
If you know that you have been exposed to asbestos over short / long periods of time in the past, it is so important to get yourself examined and screened ASAP.
For further information contact the staff at adfa HERE.