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Discussing Asbestosis with Your Doctor--Five Questions to Ask

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Asbestosis is a form of pneumoconiosis (an occupational and restrictive lung disease caused by inhaling of dust or other foreign objects that are used or produced in an occupation) caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers. If your doctor diagnoses you with this condition, you may have many questions, doubts and fears of the unknowns about this condition. You can start by asking some of the ones I have chalked out below to help you through your process of better understanding:

1. Is asbestosis curable?
Pulmonary asbestosis or mesothelioma (lung cancer) is not curable. It is a progressive disease and can only be managed at best. Other less acute variations can be treated more successfully.

2. What exactly will I be going through symptom-wise?
Symptoms are wide-ranging and you could be faced with any of the symptoms (if you are not already exhibiting some key/indicative symptoms), such as dyspnea (shortness of breath) due to reduced total lung capacity, cough (though a rare symptom), chest pain, easily fatigued, respiratory failure, deformity or clubbing of fingers, plaque formation in the parietal pleura, diffused fibrotic pattern in the lower lung lobes, etc.

3. Will I need to be hospitalised?
Depending on the stage and acuity of your condition, you will be in all probability required to be hospitalized until the time aggressive treatment is on. However, your doctor will be the right person to ask this question.

4. What drugs will I be given?
Treatment of asbestosis usually focuses on relieving symptoms and avoiding exposure to asbestos areas. Apart from this, it is recommended to abstain from smoking in the duration of taking symptomatic therapy. Often,
• Oxygen therapy is prescribed to counteract breathlessness.
• Physiotherapy including chest percussions, massage and vibration to drain pleural fluid is advised.
• Nebulization with prescribed medication is also undertaken.
• Corticosteroids or other such immunosuppressors may be used under doctor’s consultation to relieve other symptoms of asbestosis.
• To counteract immunosuppressants that may cause reduced immunity leading to frequent colds and flus, pneumonia and flu vaccines are administered.
• Medications that relax blood vessel walls are given.
• In rare cases, a lung transplant is done.

5. What side-effects should I expect from these drugs?
Immunosuppressors could create hypertension, hyperglycemia, peptic ulcers, liver, and kidney injury and reduce the body’s countering capacity against cancer cells etc.


Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.) and the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com

Add a Comment2 Comments

Thank you JD for your kind words:)
Best Regards,

April 21, 2010 - 1:34am
EmpowHER Guest

This is a great overview. Asbestos-related diseases are rare and so difficult to treat that early diagnosis and timely, informed decisions are all the more important.
- JD, http://www.banasbestosnow.com

April 20, 2010 - 8:39am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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