The 4 main diseases that can result from exposure to asbestos are, a}chronic lung scarring known as asbestosis b} pleural plaques and pleural changes c} lung cancer d} mesothelioma. Some of these diseases like asbestosis and pleural plaques and pleural changes are not life threatening while lung cancer and mesothelioma are usually terminal illnesses. These diseases are all treated differently. Their various treatments are briefly outlined below.-
What is the treatment for asbestosis?
Preventive and supportive care is the primary treatments for asbestosis. If you are living in an area where there is high risk of asbestos exposure you must take practical steps to reduce your exposure Asbestosis can remain stable or increase in severity, but rarely gets better. Scarring of the lungs is permanent and no method exists to remove it from the lungs.
What is the treatment for pleural changes?
Treatment for pleural changes involves mainly preventive and supportive care. There is no known cure. What is the treatment for lung cancer?
Lung cancer treatment depends on:
Location of the cancer
Stage of the disease
Age of the patient
General health of the patient
Treatment options include:
-Chemotherapy - This involves the use of powerful anti cancer drugs which selectively target cancer cells for destruction. Many of these agents however are not selective enough and they end up attacking normal cells in the body too leading to the development of various unpleasant side effects that can discourage the victim from further use.
-Radiation therapy -This involvers the use of high energy ionizing radiation to kill the cancerous cells. The radiation can be from an external source outside the body or it can be from an internal source placed close to the tumor area. Radiation also destroys nearby healthy tissues leading to serious side effects.
- Combination therapy involving the simultaneous use of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy together.
-Surgery- The diseased part of the lung can be removed surgically in an attempt to achieve a cure. This method of treatment is only used for patients in the early stage of the disease.
What is the treatment for mesothelioma?
Depending on the stage of the disease, the age of the patient, the cellular type of mesothelioma, the general state of the patient, mesothelioma treatment options include:
Chemotherapy -Anti cancer drugs are used to destroy the cancer cells. This method however has a lot of unpleasant side effects.
Radiation -High energy radiation are beamed unto the cancerous area to kill the cancer cells.
Surgery- Different surgical methods are used to attempt to remove the tumor mass.
Most times treatment is carried out by the combination of all these different modes of treatment.