Asbestosis mesothelioma is a disease affecting the parenchyma tissue of the lungs. It is an occupational lung disease just like mesothelioma cancer as long term heavy exposure to asbestos particles alone causes it. The parenchymal tissues would remain permanently sore and irritable resulting in dyspnea or shortness of breath and increased chances of contracting lung cancer. Due to over-exposure to asbestos, plaque would form above the diaphragm, which can be detected in X-ray tests.

Asbestosis mesothelioma victims witness breathing difficulties as the initial symptom. Total respiratory failure may be experienced by patients who are seriously affected. Minimum ten years are required for the disease to become visible. But many cases have been reported where the illness became noticeable just after a period of three months. Amphibole and Serpentine are the two types of asbestos particles. Amphibole is thin and straight whereas serpentine is curved. It is the first one that is responsible for the disease since it can move deep into the lungs through the process of inhalation. This results in injuring lung tissues around terminal bronchioles and alveolar ducts.

The air sacs of alveoli are the place where oxygen is routed into the blood. Once the fibers reach there, they prompt the lung’s innate immune system into getting swollen in order to discard the foreign body. Macrophages are released by the body to get the trespasser digested. But the problem lies in the fact that asbestos being indigestible, the macrophages die resulting in the release of cytokines. The consequence will be further release of macrophages. This extra accrual results in thickening of alveolar walls thereby decreasing elasticity and transmission of gas. Thus oxygen transfer into the blood is obstructed.

The patients who are seriously affected may experience inspiratory crackles and clubbing of fingers. It may not be a fatal disease, but can in turn result in severe medical problems like heart failure. In about half of the asbestosis patients, plaque is developed in the chest and lung cavities.

Asbestosis mesothelioma presently has no effective curative treatment, but regular oxygen therapy can be administered at home itself to provide relief from breathing problems. Supportive therapies like respiratory physiotherapy, chest percussion, vibration and nebulization are also used to dilute secretions causing shortness of breath. Asbestosis patients are also entitled compensation from their employers.

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