Asbestos Vs. Mesothelioma: What Is the Difference?

Many people have the misconception that asbestosis and mesothelioma are very much alike. However, there are distinct differences to these 2 diseases. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can trigger asbestosis and mesothelioma, causing people to get mixed up between the 2 diseases.

Asbestosis is a naturally occurring mineral that handles corrosion and heat well. Materials such as floor tiles, cement and insulation made from asbestos were once widely used. However, with the advancement in technology making new discoveries, asbestos has been prohibited in over 50 countries. Asbestos in the U.S. is controlled with strict guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it carries the power to cause detrimental effects to one’s health.

What Is Asbestosis?

The inhalation of asbestos fibers piles up and accumulates in the lungs, slowly causing detriment to the structure of one’s regular lungs. The process of this disease is called asbestosis.

Once an individual contracts this disease, their lungs start to damage and become rigid as asbestos fibers start to pile-up in their lungs. This causes their lungs to lose the ability to expand. The damages to the lungs can cause the patient to experience difficulties in breathing due to the blockage to the airflow and air exchange in their lungs.

What Stands Out About Mesothelioma?

The greatest difference between these 2 conditions is that mesothelioma is a type of cancer, however, asbestosis is known as a chronic disease of the lung.

Is Asbestosis a Type of Cancer?

No, it is not as there are differences to both conditions. Progressive damage, also known as the scarring of the lung is present in asbestosis but not in mesothelioma.  Both asbestosis and mesothelioma bear symptoms, causes and risk factors which are almost identical. However, mesothelioma is a type of cancer, but asbestosis is not.

Differences in The Symptoms of Asbestosis & Mesothelioma

The reason why people get these 2 life-threatening conditions mixed up is because the symptoms that patients experience for both diseases are almost identical. Medical professionals such as doctors have a hard time differentiating just by through looking at their patients as the symptoms are too much alike.

Some of the symptoms present in these 2 diseases may include:

  • Chest pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath

Asbestosis causes harm to the lung tissues of an individual, causing breathing to be more challenging for them. Asbestosis can cause an individual to develop health issues such as:

  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure in the lungs, otherwise known as pulmonary hypertension
  • Heart failure
  • Breathing difficulties

Professionals working in the medical field have not discovered why only certain people who come into contact with asbestos fibers contract mesothelioma. Individuals should understand that coming into contact with asbestos fibers can cause increase one’s possibility of developing lung cancer.

Diagnoses of Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

What is needed from the diagnosis of mesothelioma is a biopsy of a section from the patient’s lung lining, otherwise known as the pleura. However, the doctor will require a biopsy of the patient’s lung for asbestosis. What is similar in both asbestosis and mesothelioma is that the doctors will look into the tissues of the lung through the use of a microscope to verify the diagnosis. X-rays, CT scans, and lung-function tests will be called by doctors, so they are able to distinguish the severity of the disease.

Types of Treatment for Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

In most cases, mesothelioma can be simply cured with the help of surgery if there is quick detection in the disease, smoothening the process of healing. Cancer drugs are prescribed to those who are diagnosed with more advanced stages of mesothelioma. However, there are lesser chances of survival.

Contrarily, there are not many effective treatments for asbestosis. In most cases, doctors recommend their patients to adopt a healthy diet, exercise, and take medication that can increase the flow of oxygenation in their bodies. Patients who are diagnosed with asbestosis typically need constant CT scans and chest x-rays. This is to track and monitor their progress. In a few cases, a lung transplantation may need to be arranged for these patients.

What You Can Do

In most cases, asbestos fibers that are linked to these health risks are too tiny to be seen with the naked eye. If you want to ensure that your property is not infected with asbestos fibers, you have come to the right place. We provide asbestos inspection services and are more than willing to provide you with the help that you need. We place great importance on ensuring that our services are top-notch and are consistently delivered at a cost-efficient price. Call us today at (877) 540-8562 and one of our consultants will provide you with the help that you need.