Mesothelioma v. Asbestosis

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 at 11:57 am    

Mesothelioma v. Asbestosis

Asbestosis is caused by exposure to asbestos over a long period of time. It develops due to scarring from asbestos fibers in the alveoli. The alveoli are tiny air sacs in the lungs. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure over a long period of time, which forms in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin membrane that protects and lubricates different body cavities. Such cavities are the chest and abdominal cavity.

Mesothelioma v. Asbestosis: Symptoms

Patients experience many of the same symptoms with either mesothelioma or asbestosis. Some of the similar symptoms are shortness of breath, persistent cough, chest pain and weight loss. Both diseases are similar in that they have a long latency period in relation to symptoms. They both take decades for the symptoms to show.

Mesothelioma v. Asbestosis: Treatment

Treatment options vary greatly. This is because mesothelioma is a cancer and asbestosis is not a cancer. Despite this they both share the same palliative treatment to relieve symptoms and pain.

Both diseases have no known cure.

Mesothelioma v. Asbestosis: Prognosis

The prognosis for asbestosis is much more positive or favorable compared to mesothelioma. Patients with asbestosis can live for decades with the disease as long as they carefully follow their medicinal regimen. However, with mesothelioma the outlook is less favorable as the life expectancy can be as short as 20 months.

Despite the favorable prognosis of asbestosis, a patient can develop mesothelioma in the future. Unlike mesothelioma, asbestosis combined with smoking can cause lung cancer.

Mesothelioma v. Asbestosis: Affected areas

Mesothelioma affects multiple body areas; such as the lungs, the stomach/abdomen, heart while asbestosis mainly affects the lungs. Because of the various areas mesothelioma affects the naming is determined by where the mesothelioma develops. For example pleural mesothelioma is mesothelioma developing in the lungs, peritoneal mesothelioma is mesothelioma developing in the abdomen, and pericardial mesothelioma is mesothelioma developing in the heart.


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