Asbestosis can be a very serious disease, it is scarring of lung tissue, but it is not cancer. Usually, a person needs to have been exposed to significant amounts of asbestos fibres/dust (such as in a workplace environment) to develop asbestosis.
Asbestosis generally takes 10 years or more to develop from first being exposed to asbestos fibre/dust. The asbestos fibres when breathed in, can sometimes lodge in the lung and cause scarring and hardening. In most cases, it results in shortness of breath, it is often a slowly progressive disease, and in some serious cases it can be fatal.
There is no known cure for asbestosis, however oxygen can be prescribed to alleviate symptoms, if considered appropriate or necessary by the treating respiratory specialist. Asbestosis is often diagnosed by way of chest x-ray or chest CT Scan.
Having asbestosis is a definite indicator that a person has been heavily exposed to asbestos fibres, and thus has a possibility of having contracted another asbestos related disease (ARD).
Not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos will develop asbestosis or another asbestos related disease (ARD).
Note: Asbestosis does not mutate into mesothelioma, or asbestos contributed lung cancer, a very small percentage of people who have asbestosis, end up being diagnosed with mesothelioma (such as Bernie Banton). Likewise, a very small proportion of people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, have, or are subsequently diagnosed with asbestosis. The only common element between asbestosis and mesothelioma, is they are both caused by being exposed to asbestos fibres.
Supportive Care Options
Supportive Care Options is about maintaining or improving quality of life for sufferers of asbestos or dust related disease, at the same time allowing their loved ones to also have a quality of life during all stages of the disease. It is about working out what support and care options are available, and then putting in place strategies to help sufferers and their loved ones navigate the journey ahead in the best possible way.
Supportive Care Options should be discussed as soon as possible after diagnosis with your treating physician, hospital social worker or other care providers. You should also talk immediately with a specialist asbestos dust litigator regarding possible compensation.