For many decades, home builders used asbestos as a sort of “wonder” material. From insulation to siding and everything in between, some homes are littered with asbestos. However, this “wonder” material can have some tragic side effects, including respiratory illness, cancer, and even death. Often when people think of asbestos-related illnesses, they think of Asbestosis and Mesothelioma. In many cases, these two diseases are considered one in the same, however, there are key differences between them. Today, Now Environmental Services will discuss these two terrible illnesses.
What Is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a disease of the respiratory tract that is chronic and worsens with time. This illness is the result of exposure to asbestos. While researchers have made guesses, it is unclear how much exposure to asbestos leads to a patient developing asbestosis. When the fibers that make up asbestos are inhaled, the fibers scar the lungs and make them stiffer. Deep breathing becomes more difficult as a result. While asbestosis shares many traits with mesothelioma, the key difference is that this disease is not cancerous, but it may lead to lung cancer at a later point.
Symptoms Of Asbestosis
The symptoms of asbestosis are similar to mesothelioma. Patients report having common symptoms, like weight loss, chest pain, chronic coughing, and a shortness of breath. More advanced symptoms of asbestosis include heart problems and the clubbing of fingers and toes. Essentially, the body isn’t capable of putting enough oxygen into its blood supply, and that causes the patient’s nails to become rounder, more flat, and softer.
Is There A Cure For Asbestosis?
There is no cure for asbestosis. The best way to manage asbestosis is to avoid getting it in the first place by minimizing the amount of time near or handling asbestos. However, with respiratory treatment options, a patient with asbestosis can live for decades after their diagnosis.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs, and in some cases, the lining of the heart, abdomen, and testicles. This cancer is a result of extensive exposure to asbestos. Similar to asbestosis, it is unknown just how much exposure to asbestos is necessary to develop mesothelioma. Rather than scarring the inside of the lungs, this illness results in lots of tiny cancerous growths taking root on one lung, and then slowly spreading to the other.
Symptoms Of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma shares many external symptoms with asbestosis. These symptoms can develop quickly, and worsen with sustained exposure to asbestos. These shared symptoms include losing weight, pain in the chest, a persistent cough, and difficulty or shallow breathing. Unlike asbestosis, these symptoms often worsen very rapidly, and soon patients experience anemia, muscle weakness, and fever.
Is There A Cure For Mesothelioma?
Unfortunately, mesothelioma responds very poorly to treatment options. Unlike asbestosis, where a prognosis may give patients many years, or even decades to live, mesothelioma patients are only given a few months to live after their diagnosis. This is because mesothelioma is difficult to identify, and because it is so rare, there is no prescribed treatment method. The goal of treating mesothelioma is to make the patient’s remaining time as comfortable as possible.
Both of these diseases are terrible and can shatter an individual’s life. The best way to avoid these illnesses is to have your home tested for asbestos. Now Environmental Services offers asbestos testing for homes in Seattle. Call us today for a free phone consultation. Testing for asbestos in your home could be the key to avoiding these illnesses.