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Asbestos Disease

Legal Helpline: ☎ 1800 529 835

Our Australian asbestos lawyers handle No Win No Fee claims for asbestos related disease. Contact our free legal advice line to find out about your rights to compensation.

What is Asbestos Related Disease?

Asbestos-related conditions can be difficult to identify. Healthcare providers usually identify the possibility of asbestos-related conditions by taking a thorough medical history. This includes looking at the person's work history.

Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term chronic disease of the lungs. The severity of asbestosis can vary from asymptomatic (no symptoms) to disabling and potentially fatal. Here are some of the symptoms of asbestosis:

  • Shortness of breath is the primary symptom
  • A persistent and productive cough (a cough that expels mucus)
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • A dry, crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling.

Symptoms (such as breathlessness, cough, fatigue) usually develop slowly after exposure and in some cases exposure may have begun decades previously.

Early signs of asbestos exposure can include:

  • changes in the lining of the lungs (pleura) such as thickening
  • the presence of plaques, calcification in the lining of the lungs
  • and fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion). Pleural effusion can also be an early warning sign for mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs).

Even after exposure to asbestos has ceased, symptoms of asbestos-related disease may continue to progress. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are a smoker, your chances of developing lung cancer are greatly increased.

If you believe that you are suffering from exposure to asbestos then it's important to get a medical diagnosis confirming the condition. Asbestosis predisposes sufferers to cancer (lung cancer, mesothelioma) therefore it's also important to get frequent chest and lung testing to detect adverse developments.

Asbestosis Diagnosis

If your doctor suspects that you may have asbestosis, there are several diagnostic tools available to confirm the diagnosis:

1. Chest X-Ray

A chest x-ray may be used to detect lung and pleural disease caused by exposure to asbestos. X-rays often show pleural changes and other lung abnormalities (pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening and pleural effusions) in people who have been exposed to asbestos.

2. Pulmonary function tests.

3. Biopsy or Bronchoscopy.

A lung biopsy to detect asbestos fibre in the lung, is the most reliable test to determine the presence of asbestos-related illness. Less invasive tests (e.g. bronchoscopy) can detect asbestos fibres in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid or in sputum.

4. CT Scans

A CT scan is an image produced by an X-ray source that rotates around the patient. A CT is generally far better than routine x-rays at characterizing tissue density, and providing accurate size assessment of lesions.

Asbestosis Treatment

Treatment of non-malignant (non-cancerous) asbestos-related conditions such as asbestosis, involves preventing further complications and treating symptoms. Individuals should ensure that any further exposure to asbestos is prevented, and that one ceases smoking. The disease symptoms can remain stable for many years.

Treatment options for patients diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer of the lung or pleura are limited to surgical treatment, chemotherapy, or both.

Asbestos Disease Legal Advice

Please first seek medical advice if you suspect you may have an asbestos-related disease. If you subsequently wish to seek legal advice, then contact us. Our solicitors are highly experienced specialists in Personal Injury Law. They have many years of experience in handling asbestos compensation claims.

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