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What are the treatments for asbestos-related diseases?

The key to successful treatment of asbestos-related diseases lies in early detection. The health problems caused by asbestosis are due mainly to lung infections, like pneumonia, that attack weakened lungs. Early medical attention and prompt, aggressive treatment offer the best chance of success in controlling such infections. Depending on the situation, doctors may give a vaccine against influenza or pneumococcal pneumonia as a protective measure.

Early screening by chest X-ray of people who are exposed to asbestos.

As noted earlier, the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases may not become apparent for many decades after exposure. If any of the following symptoms develop, a physical examination should be scheduled without delay:

• Shortness of breath;
• A cough or a change in cough pattern;
• Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up from the lungs;
• Pain in the chest or abdomen;
• Difficulty in swallowing or prolonged hoarseness; and/or
• Significant weight loss
• Nail abnormalities or clubbing of fingers may occur.

Signs and tests:
Listening to the chest with a stethoscope (auscultation) reveals a crackling sound.

These tests also help diagnose the disease:

• a chest X-ray
• pulmonary function tests
• a CT scan of the lungs

This disease may also alter the results of the following test:

• ACE levels

There is no cure available. Stopping further exposure to asbestos is indicated. Supportive treatment of symptoms includes respiratory treatments to remove secretions from the lungs by postural drainage, chest percussion, and vibration. Aerosol medications to thin secretions may be prescribed. Oxygen by mask or by a plastic piece that fits into the nostrils (cannula) may be needed.


Copyright Notice: The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions


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