Asbestos Related Pleural Disease (ARPD) is not a cancer, rather it is a benign condition that has some pleural involvement. This may be in the form of a benign pleural effusion (a fluid accumulation within the pleural space) and/or pleural thickening (where the pleura on the lung becomes thickened and compresses the lung). ARPD is a slow onset progressive disease that often causes breathlessness and can also result in chest pain when the lining of the lungs hardens and constricts. A person can develop ARPD as a result of inhaling small quantities of asbestos fibres. ARPD is generally diagnosed by way of an X-ray or CT scan.
If scans show a build up of fluid in the chest cavity, a VAT Talc Pleurodesis may be performed (see below). A surgeon may also elect to try to reduce the thickening of the pleura by surgically removing as much hardened tissue as can be safely done. The aim of both these procedures is to increase the amount of room in the chest cavity the lung has to expand and contract in – thus allowing it to function more fully and for the sufferer to breath be able to breath easier.
VAT Talc Pleurodesis
Video-assisted thoracoscopic talc pleurodesis is a form of treatment used for treating fluid build up in the chest cavity related to ARPD (and other diseases) – it is not considered radical, or major surgery as it is performed using keyhole surgery techniques. it may be carried out if scans show a build up of fluid in the chest cavity. It involves inserting a form of talcum powder into the pleura (a two layered serous membrane that is the outer lining of the lung, and is attached to the internal chest wall) to stick both layers of the pleura together. The intention of a pleurodesis is to prevent the re-accumulation of fluid in the pleural space – this is important, as fluid build up causes expansion of the pleural space, which creates less space for the lungs to expand in the chest cavity. This procedure alleviates the symptoms, whilst it does not cure or correct the cause, it may assist to slow the growth of cancerous tumours. If successful, a pleurodesis will normally allow a sufferer to breathe easier and have a better quality of life.
ARPD is a stand alone disease, having ARPD is a definite indicator that a person has been exposed to asbestos fibres, and thus has a possibility of having contracted, or being diagnosed with another asbestos related disease in the future.
Not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos will develop ARPD or another asbestos related disease (ARD).
If you, or a loved one has been diagnosed
with an ASBESTOS RELATED DISEASE and you would like to talk to somebody who knows what it feels like to be in similar circumstances to what you are in, whether you are a sufferer or carer, please phone the Foundation’s 24/7 Support Helpline.
Note: The Bernie Banton Foundation is not accredited to provide advice. The information and/or advice provided is for assistance only. The advice of a qualified specialist, should always be sought before making legal or medical decisions.