These are the three stages of Asbestosis

These are the three stages of Asbestosis

What is asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a serious lung condition caused by inhaling asbestos fibers which is a group of six naturally occurring minerals made up of soft, flexible fibers that are resistant to heat. This substance was widely used in construction and other industries until the late 1990s. This disease is also known by name of as pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial pneumonitis. Deposits of asbestosis are located across the United States of America, mainly in the western side of U.S and eastern coastal states. In late 1960 and 1970s there were almost more than hundred active mines operating in U.S.A. Mining of asbestos often released harmful fibers and toxins into the air resulting in miners, workers and residents near the mines at high risk of asbestos exposure. Those exposed risk illnesses were such as mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers. Once the harmful nature of asbestos was widely known its mining was restricted but was not totally banned. The last of asbestos mine was shut down in 2002 in U.S.A but it can still be imported under strict restrictions.

Types of Asbestos:

Strictly speaking, asbestos is a commercial and legal term consisting many types of minerals. Among them is white material substance chrysotile which is the most commonly used form of asbestos. Amosite a brown like substance was used most frequently. Crocidolite, a blue mineral, was also widely used in steam insulation. Anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite were also used in commercially used in many products. All the forms of asbestos cam form asbestosis and some forms are more dangerous than others.

Symptoms of Asbestosis:

The disease is caused by long term expose to asbestos and the symptoms does not show up from 10 to 20 years after the initial exposure. There are no signs to identify the disease before it appears or develops. It usually effects the lungs but it can also affect the other parts of body. The sign and symptoms of asbestos effecting lungs are pain or tightness in chest, complications in respiration, dry cough, pleural plagues and thickness, shortness in breath, accumulation of fluid in the space around the lungs and production of cracking sound while breathing. Symptoms of asbestos in others parts of body are loss of appetite, swelling of abdomen, clubbing of fingers, obstruction is the bowel, pain in abdomen or pelvic, loss of weight, hernia, difficulty in swallowing and hoarseness.

Screening and diagnosing for asbestosis:

The diseases related to asbestos are gone un noticed most of the time. Detection of disease before the appearance of any symptom is very difficult and ineffective. During the physical examination, the doctor will listen to your lungs to determine whether the sounds are normal or not. If a person has a history of heavy asbestos exposure, screening for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases could save one’s life. Screening procedures for asbestos related diseases include X-ray of chest and pulmonary function tests, to measure the amount of air you can inhale and the airflow to and from your lungs, after every two to three years. Your doctor can also recommend you for CT Scan for detailed view of your lungs. The breathing tests, helps your doctor determine how severe your asbestosis is and how much well your lungs are functioning.

Three stages of asbestosis:

Based upon X-rays and other imaging that is done on the patient’s lungs the doctor will generally classify a case of asbestosis into one of three categories. The classification depends on the damage done to that asbestos exposure has created inside the body of a person. The categories are not named but are divided in the stages of the disease and its details observed in X-rays and CT Scan.

First Stage:

A fine reticular pattern, most of the appears at the base of the lungs; pattern may have the shape of the ground glass

Second stage:

Irregular and distorted dots or spots in connective tissue; pattern may obscure appearance of heart and diaphragm

Third stage:

Rough patterns in connective tissue; honey comb patterns in upper parts of lung; heart and diaphragm are further concealed.

Asbestosis is not a form of cancer, but scientists has suggested that some people whose asbestosis is progressive are more likely to develop lung cancer. Lung cancer causes the highest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. The cases of lung cancer in people who are directly involved in the mining, milling, manufacturing and use of asbestos and its products is much greater than in the overall population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and a shortness in breathing. Other symptoms include clubbing of fingers, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anemia.

People who have been exposed to asbestos and are also exposed to some other carcinogen — such as cigarette smoke — have a high greater risk of producing lung cancer than people who have only been exposed to asbestos. One study found that “asbestos workers who smoke are about 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than people who neither smoke nor have been exposed to asbestos”

Is asbestosis dangerous?

All forms of asbestosis while some forms of asbestosis are more dangerous than other. Prominent health agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classify all types of asbestos as cancer-causing substances.

Top hospitals for treatment of asbestosis:

Pleural mesothelioma is the most widely common type of this cancers related to asbestos. Some of the top cancer centers in the world feature thoracic surgeons and other oncologists who specialize in the treatment of this uncurable evil. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston has been ranked as one of America’s leading medical hospital. The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center has redefined excellence in health care and facilitation for many years and many to come. It is backed by innovation, research and state of the art and technology. Its Center for Thoracic Cancers is one of England’s most reliable programs, managing lung, esophageal and pleural mesothelioma cancers.
For the sixth consecutive year, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was named the top adult cancer hospital in America by U.S. news and world report. Several of the top cancer hospitals on the list have specialty programs for mesothelioma that contributed to their high and top ranking. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are more likely to find the care and treatment they need at a specialty center, where physicians and doctors have access to the most up-to-dated treatment advances and tools.
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, was placed at number third in cancer care, was now ranked number one for the fifth consecutive year in the best hospital rankings. The ranking is based upon patient experiences, rates of discharge to home, risk-adjusted survival, quality of nursing care, expert opinion from physician surveys and volume.
Washington (D.C.) cancer institute at Washington hospital center is the home to the world’s leading expert and doctors on peritoneal mesothelioma. Its mesothelioma program has contributed to innovative research for more than 20 years.

Cure or treatment for Asbestosis:

There is no cure for asbestosis once it has developed, as it is not possible to reverse or eliminate the damage done to the lungs. Some preventions can help to reduce the complexities. One of them is pulmonary rehab which includes all the education and awareness regarding asbestosis. It also includes exercise to manage one’s symptoms. Next is oxygen therapy which is helpful if the oxygen level in the blood is low. Taking rich and pure oxygen from machine will improve the breathlessness in a person. Inhaler can also be used if the symptoms are slightly mild and can be handled. Some of the important points to note in order to not get your conditions are quit smoking as it increases the chances of lungs cancer. It can make the condition worse.it is compulsory to have flu vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccination as your lungs will be more vulnerable to infections like flu and pneumonia.

Who are at more risk?

If you have been working in an industry such as building or construction, mainly from the 1970s to 1990s, you may have been exposed to asbestos. This includes ship-building, construction and insulation work, but asbestos exposure could have occurred in other jobs also.
Nowadays, you are only likely to come into contact with asbestos if it is disturbed or damaged in old buildings. You might also be at risk if you have lived with a worker working in mines or industries who was exposed to asbestos. They may be the carrier of asbestos fibers home on their clothing, where other family members can breathe them in.

Prevention for asbestosis:

It is always said that prevention is better than cure so by reducing exposure to asbestos is the best prevention against asbestosis. Materials containing asbestos damaged in that case there is a danger of asbestos fibers being released into the air and inhaled. Employers working in industries that deals with asbestos products such as construction are to take special safety measures.


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