Understanding Pleural Plaque And What It Means To You

By E. Johnston

Unfortunately, many people do not take asbestos-related risks as seriously as they need to considering the multitude of older building materials that may contain asbestos and may result in exposure. The reality is that exposure to asbestos can lead to much more serious side effects than just an irritating cough. Those who have suffered from asbestos exposure can end up with pleural plaque, which is a medical condition involving the smooth areas of the collagen tissue within the inner surface of the ribcage, pleura and diaphragm. Pleural plaques can range in size from small to very large.

Pleural plaques may not develop until years after one has been exposed to asbestos. In fact, some people find that it does not show up until forty years or even sixty years after the initial exposure. At this point, many people have forgotten when and where they may have been initially exposed to asbestos.


Only a small number of people can be exposed to asbestos and not eventually develop pleural plaques. The plaques are formed because of pleural scarring caused by the asbestos fibers entering the pleural lining. Generally, pleural plaques are benign and often will not end up becoming cancer. There are however, some studies suggesting that those who suffer from benign pleural plaques have a greater chance of developing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells lining the lung, chest cavity, abdominal cavity, or heart cavity. It is a serious condition that is potentially fatal and cannot be ignored.

Only a very small percentage of the people who have pleural plaque will actually realize the condition that they are suffering from. Due to the less-severe nature of this condition, most people often do not know that they have pleural plaques until other related conditions develop.

As far as treatment options are concerned, currently there are none. Since this condition is not life threatening and does not involve serious symptoms, there are no current treatments available. However, this does not dismiss the fact that it is an uncomfortable condition. Of course, those who are told that they do indeed have pleural plaques are encouraged to visit their doctors for regular checkups. These individuals are still at risk for other medical conditions, which could be life threatening as a result of being exposed to asbestos.

If at any time you are not feeling well or believe that you may be suffering symptoms resulting from long term exposure to asbestos, you may want to consult your doctor as soon as possible. When you meet with your doctor, explain your concerns about your health and the fact that you have been exposed to asbestos. Proper testing and scans can be performed to determine your current state of health and you will want to make sure that you continue to be closely monitored so that if an issue does develop it can be addressed. In doing so you will not have to worry about neglecting a potential medical condition, and if there are treatment options available you will be notified of them quickly.

About the Author: If you were exposed to asbestos, and have developed symptoms of mesothelioma, you may be entitled to an

asbestos lawsuit

. Contact an asbestos lawyer to learn more.



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