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Difference Between Mesothelioma and Asbestosis

Mesothelioma vs Asbestosis

People who are exposed to asbestos, which is a carcinogenic material, usually develop two kinds of ailments, Mesothelioma and Asbestosis. To understand more about them, here are some facts to consider:

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the protective cover of the body�s internal organs which is called mesothelium. Although it is most commonly seen in the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, it can also affect the abdominal cavity lining and the heart.

It does not manifest immediately but takes a long period to be diagnosed. It is not as common as asbestosis but is more fatal. Symptoms include:
Lining of the lungs: Lining of the abdominal cavity: Severe cases:

� Chest pain Abdominal pain Blood clots in the veins
� Fluid in the lungs Fluid in the abdomen Bleeding in body organs
� Shortness of breath Abdominal mass Jaundice
� Fatigue and anemia Improper bowel functions Low blood sugar level
� Cough and wheezing Weight loss Blood clots in lung arteries
� Blood in Sputum Severe ascites

Mesothelima can be diagnosed with the use of X-ray, CT scan, and a biopsy of the affected part through the use of a thoracoscopy. Although this ailment is fatal, there are many treatments available to help in fighting it.

The usual treatment methods are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, which are the treatments used in fighting cancer. There are other experimental treatments available as well such as gene therapy, immunotherapy, and photodynamic therapy.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory and fibrotic condition of the lungs caused by the inhalation of asbestos. People who are exposed to asbestos for long periods develop this disease which in the long run can develop into lung cancer.

The asbestos fibers inhaled by a person can be embedded in the inner lung tissues causing it to scar which in turn can lead to fibrosis. The tissues will harden and become ineffective at absorbing oxygen causing shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pains.

There is no cure to asbestosis and it progresses slowly and can eventually lead to cardiovascular problems, arterial hypoxemia, and respiratory failure but there are some remedies available to relieve its symptoms.
One is oxygen therapy to help the patient breathe and to correct hypoxia. A nebulizer can be used to remove lung secretions. Because of the damage to the patient�s lungs, he is more prone to get influenza and other infections so he needs to be vaccinated to help prevent the onset of other diseases that can worsen his condition.

Summary

1. Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, stomach cavity, and internal chest wall while Asbestosis is a chronic inflammation and fibrosis of the lung that can lead to lung cancer.
2. Both are caused by the inhalation of asbestos and they develop for a long period of time but mesothelioma can affect other parts of the body while asbestosis usually affects only the lungs.
3. Both have no known cure but mesothelioma can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation while asbestosis symptoms can be alleviated by oxygen therapy, vaccination against viruses, and the removal of lung secretions.


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