*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in Western Australia.

Being diagnosed with an asbestos disease can be a very daunting and confusing time. “What is it called again?”, “How do I even pronounce that?”, “Is it cancer?” and “Is there treatment?”

Alana Main of our Perth office explains the difference between mesothelioma and asbestosis, are 2 very different but common asbestos diseases.


Mesothelioma (called meso for short) is an asbestos cancer which generally develops in the pleura of the lung (that is the lining of the lung). It can also affect the abdominal lining (known as peritoneal mesothelioma).

Common symptoms of mesothelioma include breathlessness, chest pain, a cough, night sweats, loss of appetite and weight loss just to name a few.

There is only one known cause of mesothelioma and that is asbestos exposure. People suffering from even low levels exposures to asbestos can develop mesothelioma 10 to 50 after their exposure.

There are a number of treatments available to treat this incurable cancer including chemotherapy and immunotherapy.


Asbestosis is a benign asbestos disease. It is a fibrotic disease which causes scarring on the inside of a person’s lungs.

Asbestosis has similar symptoms to mesothelioma including breathlessness and a cough. Unlike mesothelioma however the symptoms of asbestosis generally develop slowly whereas mesothelioma symptoms develop suddenly.

Asbestos has the same latency period as mesothelioma, however is a condition associated with much higher levels of exposure to asbestos.

Asbestosis is generally left untreated with most sufferers living with the condition for many years. In cases of particularly progressive asbestosis some sufferers are treated with antifibroitic medication.

Despite the differences between these conditions both are usually compensable and while no amount of money will give you back your health certainly having access to funds helps remove the day to day financial burden of living with these asbestos related diseases.

Strict time limits apply to commencing claims for both mesothelioma and asbestosis. As such if you are diagnosed with either of these conditions it is important you contact an expert dust disease lawyer without delay to ensure your entitlements are protected.

Should you require further information about your disease please contact us without delay on 08 9325 0900 for an obligation free discussion.