There are many similarities and many differences between malignant pleural mesothelioma and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a form of cancer, where idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is not, but both are considered to be fatal, and both have a significant impact on the ability to breathe. Where pleural mesothelioma impacts the lining that surrounds the pleural cavity and then spreads into the lungs, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a scarring of the lung tissue itself. One of the biggest differences between the two illnesses is that mesothelioma has a known origin: it is caused by exposure to asbestos. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is of unknown origin by its very definition: idiopathic means that its source is not yet known. But a group of researchers in the United Kingdom has just completed a study that suggests that the condition may in fact be another asbestos-related disease, and if that is the case then those who have suffered from the condition may eventually be able to hold the asbestos companies responsible in the same way that mesothelioma victims do.
The new research into the relationship between malignant pleural mesothelioma, asbestosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis comes from a paper prepared by members of the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton in the United Kingdom. The group examined data regarding asbestos imports through a specific period of time, as well as the how the incidence of malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis related to it. What they found was that there was a distinct increase in the incidence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, as well as a linear relationship between that incidence and the mortality incidence from mesothelioma. They were able to track a highly similar relationship to the increase in asbestos imports. As a result, they are suggesting that the issue bears further examination in order to establish whether asbestos may in fact be the unrecognized cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Finding a relationship between mesothelioma and asbestos made a big difference in the lives of those who were diagnosed with the disease, as it enabled them to seek justice from the asbestos companies responsible. The same may be true for those with IPF in years to come.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and you need information about your legal rights, call us today at 1-800-966-2244. We are here to help.