Asbestosis vs Mesothelioma

Asbestosis vs Mesothelioma

Asbestosis vs Mesothelioma - The difference between asbestosis vs mesothelioma is the fact that asbestosis, while chronic and debilitating, does not cause cancer. Mesothelioma, however, does cause a form of lung cancer that invades the mesothelium lining of the lung. Mesothelioma is nonexistent in individuals who have not been exposed to asbestos. Unlike regular lung cancer, mesothelioma only attacks the interior of the lung by generating abnormal cells that continuously proliferate and cause severe breathing difficulties.

Mesothelioma generates cancerous cells that reproduce so rapidly they eventually form tumors that spread over the interior of the lungs. Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, persistent coughing, fatigue, general feeling of malaise and pain radiating in the chest. However, exposure to asbestos does not cause immediate health problems. Rather, this disease may not affect the individual for decades, sometimes up to 40 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Diagnosis of asbestos-related mesothelioma requires a special test of lung tissues in order to differentiate it from other forms of lung cancer.

Asbestosis occurs when someone inhales asbestos fibers, often in the form of dust or insulation particles. As a chronic condition causing inflammation of the lungs, asbestosis does not produce abnormal cell proliferation. Instead, the inhaled fibers become embedded in pulmonary tissues which harden the tissues and make it extremely difficult for someone to absorb enough oxygen to breathe comfortably. Asbestosis produces symptoms similar to mesothelioma, such as chest pain and chronic coughing.

No cures exist for either asbestosis or mesothelioma. But while mesothelioma is usually fatal, asbestosis is a chronic condition causing progressively worsening symptoms such as arterial hypoxemia and cardiovascular issues. However, individuals suffering from asbestosis can alleviate symptoms by utilizing oxygen therapy, nebulizers or other methods to help eliminate an excess of lung fluid. While asbestosis patients rarely develop cancer, they are more susceptible to pneumonia, influenza and other respiratory illnesses due to the weakened condition of the lungs.

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