Mesothelioma and asbestosis are two of the many disease caused due to exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. It develops from transformed cells originating in the mesothelium which is protective lining that covers many of the internal organs. Asbestos exposure is not the only cause of this disease but is one of the most prominent ones. Asbestosis on the other hand is inflammatory and fibrotic medical condition affecting the lungs and is caused by the inhalation and retention of asbestos fibres.
In spite of medical advances and research, the cure rates of mesothelioma and asbestosis patients is very low (next to nil) and complete cures are very rare.
Thus, there is no cure of mesothelioma unless it can be complete removed through a surgery which can only happen if it is diagnosed a very early stage, which does not happen in most cases. One of the reasons of the same is there is a long period between exposure and when the symptoms of the disease start showing up. Similar is the case with asbestosis, there is no treatment of the same.
Mesothelioma is an expensive cancer to treat
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer. Aggressive means once it is diagnosed it spreads fast and typical life expectancy is around an year. This is because in most cases its diagnosed very late and when diagnosed it does not remain cure able anymore.
While it is true that showing of symptoms may take years but once they do, proper medical attention is required by the patient.
Mesothelioma treatment typically consists of the following:
- Surgery : This is an option for very small number of people and in most cases to contain the disease and not to cure it. The cost of surgery can vary based on various factors but according to estimates it can be close to $30,000 to $40,000,
- Radiotherapy : High-energy x-rays are used to shrink the size of mesothelioma. This is generally to reduce pain associated with the disease. This also varies but a ball park figure would be in the range of $1,500 -$2,500 per month.
- Chemotherapy : Chemotherapy is given to reduce symptoms of the disease and provide easier life to the patient. Chemotherapy cost also vary based on various factors but can be assumed in the range of $25,000-$35,000 range for 8 week period.
- Drugs : Drugs to control symptoms are also given alongside the above mentioned procedures.
- Alternate therapies : many patients also go for alternate therapies to get relief in symptoms. These may include taking drugs or massages or other treatments. These are generally not covered by insurance firms.
Because of its aggressive nature, the patients require immediate attention which involve using more than one method to treat. According to some estimates the costs of treating malignant mesothelioma can range from $150,000 to over $1,000,000. Some of these costs are covered by insurance firms but still treating mesothelioma can put strain on the financials of an ordinary citizen.
It is well known that all these methods are expensive but they are essential to ensure that the patient lives as long as possible and as comfortable as possible. Even the drugs prescribed during the treatment are expensive. Chemotherapy drugs are known to be expensive.
On a broads basis every patient diagnosed Mesothelioma will have to spend money for these treatments some of which are expensive.
Asbestosis treatment expenses
Asbestosis also has no cure. The key symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, etc. As the disease progresses these symptoms may worsen over time. As they key impacted area is lung, all efforts are made to keep them in good condition and working. The patient can only be made comfortable by using treatment. These treatments include:
- Oxygen supply to provide body with required oxygen
- Surgery of lung transplant may also be prescribed in some cases
- Respiratory therapy to clean lung secretions
To ensure the patients lives a comfortable life, continuous treatment is required which is again expensive for common man to shell out.
Ways to reduce financial burden of asbestos related disease treatment
Some of the costs will be covered by insurance firms. In some cases government assistance is also available. There are also few charities which help the patients to make their ends meet. Apart from this patients may join clinical trials. These trials include low cost or free of cost treatment but of relatively unproven drugs.
In case someone is diagnosed with asbestosis or Mesothelioma because of some ones else's negligence it important to fight for one's rights. A monetary compensation can go a long way in helping patient and his family during the crisis. A compensation can not only ensure that the patient gets good treatment it also ensures that the dependents can live a decent life.