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Are Asbestosis & Mesothelioma the Same?

Are Asbestosis & Mesothelioma the Same?

No, asbestosis and mesothelioma are two different conditions that can both result from asbestos exposure:

  • Asbestosis is a chronic, non-cancerous lung condition.
  • Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that can affect the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and/or heart.

As a result, each condition can have distinct symptoms, treatments, and prognoses, as detailed below.

Asbestosis & Mesothelioma: The Symptoms

Since asbestosis and mesothelioma can both impact the lungs, they can share some symptoms. There are, however, certain symptoms unique to each condition. This table provides a snapshot of the most common symptoms associated with asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Asbestosis Symptoms Mesothelioma Symptoms
Shortness of breath
A dry, persisting cough
Chest pain
Weight loss
Clubbing of the digits  
Shortness of breath
Painful coughing
Chest pain
Weight loss
Abdominal pain
Irregular heartbeat  

For both conditions, it usually takes years after asbestos exposure for the condition to develop and start presenting symptoms. Specifically, it generally takes about:

  • 10 to 40 years following asbestos exposure for the asbestosis symptoms to develop
  • 20 to 50 years following asbestos exposure for the mesothelioma symptoms to develop

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Asbestosis & Mesothelioma: The Diagnosis

During the diagnostic process, doctors will usually focus on ruling out other conditions to determine whether a patient has asbestosis or mesothelioma.

To diagnose asbestosis, doctors typically perform:

  • Imaging tests, like x-rays and computerized tomography (CT) tests
  • Lung function tests to evaluate the strength of your lungs

For a mesothelioma diagnosis, doctors may perform the above tests, as well as:

  • Biopsies to confirm whether tissues are cancerous
  • More advanced imaging tests, like positron emission tomography (PET), to determine if the condition has spread to other areas of the body.

While an asbestosis diagnosis simply confirms the presence of the condition, a mesothelioma diagnosis will both:

  • Confirm the presence of this type of cancer
  • Stage the condition, describing how far the condition has advanced.

Asbestosis & Mesothelioma: The Treatments & Prognoses

Treatments for asbestosis and mesothelioma may both involve surgery to remove damaged or malignant cells. Aside from—or beyond surgery, the treatments for these conditions are usually different:

  • Asbestosis treatments can also include oxygen therapy to support breathing and, in the most severe cases, lung transplants.
  • Mesothelioma treatments can also involve chemotherapy and/or radiation to shrink cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading. Palliative care to alleviate symptoms, as well as targeted therapies through clinical trials, can also be part of mesothelioma treatments.

Find Out More About Your Potential Mesothelioma Claim: Contact the Amaro Law Firm

A mesothelioma lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to provide you with the answers you need so you can protect your rights and get on the path to justice. 

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At the Amaro Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing exceptional advocacy and first-class service. Compassionate, tireless, and strategic, we can help you set your claim up for success. While we understand compensation can’t cure mesothelioma, we also know how mesothelioma settlements can help people and families focus on healing.

The Amaro Law Firm’s long-standing record of success in mesothelioma cases has earned us a 5-star rating on Google and Facebook, glowing testimonials from former clients, and a 10 rating on Avvo.