There is no known Asbestosis treatment to alter the progression of the disease, however symptoms can be managed.
Doctors can provide asbestosis treatments to manage the symptoms so as to improve the sufferer’s quality of life. The NHS recommends the following:
- Stop smoking as the risks associated with cigarette smoking greatly increases the possibility of contracting lung cancer.
- Ask your GP for a Flu Jab.
- Nearly all victims of asbestosis will not benefit from medicine treatment but in severe cases morphine can be prescribed to reduce the sensation of breathlessness and reduces the urge to cough.
- If you are in severe pain ask your doctors about pain relief.
- In cases of severe breathlessness oxygen therapy can help. Again ask your doctors if this could help you.
- Steroids can help is some cases.
Asbestosis & Smoking
Medical experts will advise any asbestosis sufferer to stop smoking as soon as possible. The simple reason for this is that it is widely accepted that the combined effect of smoking and asbestos exposure greatly increases the risk of lung cancer, see the following example:
- If smoking increases lung cancer risk about 10 fold
- And if, the asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer 5 fold
- The combined effect of smoking and asbestos exposure is 50 fold, not 15 fold.
The link between smoking and lung cancer and asbestos is not fully understood. However if you have been diagnosed with asbestosis then this is a clear indication that you have been exposed to a significant amount of asbestos fibres, and stopping smoking may reduce the likelihood of contracting lung cancer.
Your GP should be able to provide you with information and advice on how to stop smoking.