Understanding Asbestos Diseases
This asbestos-related condition is not cancer, though many people take it for one. Nevertheless, it is a debilitating and life-threatening illness. Like pleural plaque, doctors find it hard to treat, because it can take so long to appear on CT scans and other tests. By the time it is identified, the asbestosis is usually quite advanced.
It can take as long as a decade, after exposure, for the condition to become apparent. It caused by asbestos fibers, which collect in the lungs and lacerate the tissue. This generates internal scarring, which limits the circulation of oxygen within the bloodstream.
If the amount of scar tissue becomes excessive, difficulty breathing and pains in the chest will follow.
Asbestosis is a progressive disease, but it tends to be found in those who have spent significant lengths of time around the material, rather than those who have been briefly exposed. Sadly, there is no cure. Clinical treatments can extend and enhance the quality of life, but they cannot eliminate the problem.
It is commonly assumed that pleural plaque is cancerous. This is not the case. It is not a type of cancer nor does it lead to cancer. Pleural plaque occurs when the membrane that coats the chest walls and the lungs start to thicken in places. This degrades the function of the lungs and makes it hard for the diaphragm to work properly.
The problem with pleural plaque is that it’s difficult to spot. It can take as long as seven years for any clinical signs of the disease to show up on diagnostic tests. Once fibrosis on the pleura is evident, the condition may have progressed significantly.
This condition is a type of cancer. It can lay dormant for an extremely long time after exposure, often as long as 30-40 years. Like asbestosis, the chance of contracting the disease seems to be correlated with the length of exposure and the amount of material that has been handled, moved, or breathed in.
Mesothelioma can develop in one or multiple spots across the external wall of the lungs, the abdomen, the chest wall, or the hollow around the heart (called the pericardium). While it is uncommon, the disease has been observed in much more distant regions like testes and ovaries.
If you need more information on mesothelioma or you need help dealing with the illness, pick up a leaflet from Cancer Council Victoria. It outlines the various diagnostic methods, the different treatment plans, available support networks, and advice on living with a cancer diagnosis. It also provides information on the legal and financial consequences of cancer.
This is one of the least common types of asbestosis based cancer. It develops within the space that surrounds the heart sac. It is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos materials. The pericardium (the hollow around the heart) is where malicious cells are most likely to appear.
Pericardial mesothelioma leads to a number of debilitating symptoms. Sufferers may experience a painful cough which cannot be soothed. They will find it difficult to breathe and will feel pain across the chest. Heart palpitations are another common problem, as is the accumulation of liquid in the lungs.
This is a form of cancer, which affects the cells on the chest wall. It also develops within the pleura membrane that coats the lungs. Small gatherings of tissue emerge and expand until they reach surrounding areas. These tumors have the potential to engulf the entire lung and render it completely dysfunctional.
One of the clearest indications that mesothelioma is present is what is known as pleural effusion. It refers to an accumulation of liquid in the lungs. Sufferers are likely to experience chest pains, a severe cough, and shortness of breath. Like asbestosis, there is no cure for this cancer. Treatments can only extend the life and make the symptoms easier to deal with.
This form of cancer affects the external surface of the intestine. It has the potential to develop here because the cells are very similar those found in the lungs. They have a close resemblance when it comes to thickness and function. This means that it is a fertile place for asbestos-related cancer, which can create large, painful tumors.
Sufferers experience pain throughout the abdomen, as well as localized swelling and tenderness. They are likely to feel sick, vomit regularly, and have difficulties going to the toilet. They may develop a serious fever.
Anybody who has ever come into contact with asbestos materials can develop lung cancer. If it is identified quickly, there is a possibility that the tumors can be extracted via surgical intervention. The disease is more prevalent in those who also have a smoking habit.
The Treatments Used to Control Asbestos Diseases
Even though most of these conditions are not curable, they are highly treatable. There are all kinds of possible solutions and ways to soothe the symptoms. It is important that clinicians tailor the treatment plan to the patient because not all methods will be suitable for all individuals. Sometimes, multiple methods are needed.
The following section will outline the most common treatments:
After diagnosis, doctors can start to think about the best possible treatment approach. This will be determined according to your specific situation. They will take into account your age, physical health, any other existing illnesses, and a host of additional factors. For mesothelioma especially, it is important to listen to the opinions of your doctor.
There are all kinds of experimental and emerging treatments being researched, but there may be reasons why they are not suitable for you. Traditional interventions, however, include chemotherapy, photodynamic surgery, and radiotherapy.
Traditional diagnostic techniques include extensive chest scans and X-rays. They are very effective at identifying signs of lung and pleural dysfunction. Pulmonary biopsies and CT scans are also useful.
The term ‘alternative medicine’ refers to a collection of non-clinical treatments and practices. These treatments have not been approved or endorsed by registered clinicians. Nevertheless, many people do believe that alternative approaches can be valuable.
Some common alternative methods include ancient Chinese medicines, homeopathy, Ayurveda, and naturopathy.
Other people believe that certain types of physical and emotional expression should be classed as alternative therapies. For instance, this might include counseling, support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, yoga, or art and dance.
Natural biological interventions include taking vitamins and herbs as dietary supplements, applying essential oils, and adhering to a specific kind of diet. You may also get regular massages or see an osteopath, acupuncturist, or chiropractor. Qigong, reiki, and any kind of treatment that uses electromagnetic energy is included in this.
Getting to Grips with Palliative Services
Once a disease has progressed to the point at which treatments are ineffective, doctors will usually suggest that a patient starts to make plans for the end of their life. This is when palliative services are provided. ‘Palliative’ means the end of life and it involves doctors, nurses, clinical specialists, hospice carers, and (sometimes) religious figures coming together to offer comfort.
Pain management is a big part of palliative care, as the aim is to make the end as physically comfortable as possible. There are also counselors and grief specialists on hand to support family members.In Victoria, palliative care is provided by the Department of Human Services.
Finding Out If You Are In an Asbestos Danger Zone
It is estimated that, throughout Australia, around 60% of production and 90% of consumption of the asbestos industry can be attributed to the cement industry. This means that there are still lots of buildings that contain asbestos, even today.
If you have any reason to suspect that your property may contain this hazardous material, you must arrange for expert asbestos removal in Perth right away.
The reason why asbestos was so common is because it was cheap to produce and easy to acquire. In the years following the Second World War, some 70,000 buildings were erected using the material and this is just in New South Wales.
Right up until the sixties, around 25% of all new homes still contained asbestos. Throughout Perth, experts reckon that a staggering 98% of properties built before 1976 did, in fact, use asbestos materials.
The material has been, effectively, outlawed since doctors proved the link between its fibers and the development serious health conditions. In 2003, the use of asbestos in any product at all was completely forbidden. It is now highly illegal to transport, store, trade, or build with the material.
Unfortunately, this new rule couldn’t do much about the homes that had already been built. The only viable solution, when asbestos is found in an older property, is to move all occupants away from the danger and carry out safe asbestos removal procedures.
Identifying Asbestos In Your Property
If your property was built before the nineties, you are strongly advised to call us for expert inspection and follow the formal asbestos regulations. We will take samples and send them to a specialist center for examination. Then, you’ll have a definitive answer to the question of whether or not your home contains this dangerous substance.
You can call us at this number (08) 62450427
It is imperative that you do not carry out any kind of structural renovations or DIY projects if you are not sure that the property doesn’t contain asbestos. If it does and you move, shift, or manipulate it in any way, you could put yourself at risk.
Some older types of outdoor fencing may also contain asbestos materials. Fortunately, this is easier to remove than fibers inside the structural elements of a home. Nevertheless, you should not move or touch a suspected asbestos fence. Treat it with extreme caution and call in the experts to safely remove it.
Common Hiding Places for Asbestos
The material was primarily used in two ways, as a part of building construction projects. It took the form of either bonded (rigid) asbestos or loose (friable) asbestos.
Loose (Friable) Asbestos
This type of material is also found in older buildings. It was, back in the day, thought to be an effective method of soundproofing, fireproofing, and insulating a home. Now, fiberglass does this job and it causes no harm to the health of occupants.
Some places where asbestos might hide, particularly in very old homes, is the stove or Aga, inside hot water systems, underneath vinyl floors, and inside roof insulation. Loose asbestos can consistent of nothing but toxic fibers (100%), so you must never attempt to move it if you suspect that it is in your property. It crumbles at the lightest touch and is highly dangerous.
Bonded (Rigid) Asbestos
This type of fibrous material is partially immured in a rigid cement foundation. It is the most commonly used form of asbestos and was a popular choice for homes. It is sometimes referred to as ‘asbestos cement’ or ‘fibro.’ Generally, the levels of asbestos were around 10-15%, but they could peak at a very dangerous 40%, depending on the manufacturer.
The good news is that non-toxic cellulose fibers are now used in place of bonded asbestos. While it is thought to be less harmful than its counterpart, loose (or friable) asbestos, this material is still extremely bad for the health. It must be removed, by experts, in protective clothing, just in case the fibers detach and make it into the air.
Don’t take chances when it comes to your family well being – call us now (08) 62450427 for asbestos inspection.