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Asbestosis

While we now know that asbestos is a human carcinogen that can cause everything from lung to colorectal cancer, many people were exposed to the mineral before it was banned. Although the most common cancer associated with asbestos is mesothelioma, asbestos can also cause a condition called asbestosis, which can lead to mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The problem with asbestos is that your body cannot break it down. Thus, once you inhale or ingest the particles, they can stay in your body for years and years. When asbestos fibers accumulate in your lungs, they can cause scarring in the sensitive tissue there, contributing to shortness of breath. This condition is called asbestosis.

Symptoms of Asbestosis

Besides shortness of breath, asbestosis may appear with the following symptoms:

  • Loss of tolerance for physical activities
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Finger clubbing

To diagnose your problem, a doctor will probably ask you about your exposure to asbestos. Additionally, he or she may perform pulmonary function tests, as well as take x-rays and CT scans of your chest.

Living with Asbestosis

Sadly, because asbestosis is the buildup of scar tissue, there is no way to reverse this condition. However, since it can cause problems like hypertension, doctors will often choose to treat these secondary issues asbestosis causes. Also, since asbestos can increase your chances of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma, your physician may choose to monitor you more closely for these conditions.

Contact Us

Dealing with mesothelioma can be difficult. For more information regarding asbestosis and mesothelioma, contact the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Health Center today.

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