Mesothelioma and asbestosis share many similar characteristics, but they are different diseases. Learn about the differences between the two by reading below.
It is a medical fact that inhalation of dangerous fibers from asbestos cause deadly diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis. However, there are distinct differences between the two ailments. Mesothelioma is cancerous. Asbestosis is not.
The major differences between mesothelioma and asbestosis diseases can be found in their treatments and diagnosis. Symptoms are generally the same especially with regards to the dormancy period. Treatment is different since one is a cancer disease and the other is not. However, palliative care is recommended for both to enhance the quality of life. In terms of diagnosis, asbestosis is described as lethal and the condition may sooner or later progress to mesothelioma. There is also the likelihood asbestosis can become lung cancer in the long run.
Development of Mesothelioma and Asbestosis
How do mesothelioma and asbestosis diseases develop?
The cause is exposure to the dreaded asbestos fibers. It takes a minimum of 10 to 50 years for both conditions to grow. One major difference is asbestosis comes from fibers lodged in air sacs of the lungs. On the contrary, mesothelioma originates from asbestos strands caught in the lung’s so-called lining. According tom some studies, smoking can also aggravate asbestosis unlike mesothelioma which is not linked to tobacco or nicotine.
Differences in Treatment
There are differences in treatment between mesothelioma and asbestosis diseases. Asbestosis patients can choose from multiple treatment solutions which can mitigate symptoms and slow down the disease’s progress. The following options are available to them:
Bronchodilators or Inhalers
Breathing and respiratory equipment
Surgery is recommended both for mesothelioma and asbestosis diseases. This type of surgical operation is minimally invasive which is intended to drain fluid from the lungs. The procedure helps the person to breathe better. For acute cases of asbestosis, the doctor may require lung transplant. Doctors will always require a comprehensive work history of the patient to facilitate prognosis.
Treatment Modalities for Mesothelioma
There are five common alternatives for mesothelioma patients which are:
Surgery – This will depend on the cancer stage and location as well as the patient’s condition. One objective of the surgical procedure is to remove tumors.
Radiation – Radiation therapy can locate and make tumors smaller. This can complement other approaches.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy prevents the proliferation of cancer cells which have the tendency to metastasize throughout the body.
Palliative care – Palliative care as a form of focused medical care for persons affected with severe illnesses. Palliative care seeks to provide patients with relief from symptoms and strains of a lingering ailment. The objective here is to enhance the quality of life for patients and their families.
Clinical Therapies – These are new techniques such as photo therapy and immunotherapy. However, it remains to be seen if these indeed are very efficient solutions.
Individuals with mesothelioma and asbestosis diseases must look for specialists, preferably oncologists, with extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with these medical conditions.