This is our simple guide and advice if you have been diagnosed with pleural plaques.
Pleural plaques are a scarring to the lining of the lung due to asbestos exposure.
Here are some practical tips if you have been diagnosed with pleural plaques.
Unfortunately since 2006 compensation for pleural plaques is no longer available. It was deemed that as it is ONLY scarring and causes no disability then it is not an injury. We think that is unfair as those with pleural plaques are always aware of it. It is impossible not to be.
Since that case there have been three different governments but no interest to reverse this unjust law has been shown.
This means that hundreds of thousands of people with pleural plaques are going without compensation every year. There may be in fact millions. Anyone born before 1970 may have breathed in asbestos and might have plaques.
What you can do?
From a practical point of view there is nothing that you can do the to change your medical position. You cannot remove pleural plaques.
The NHS trusts throughout the country have different strategies in relation to pleural plaques victims. Some trusts will arrange for you to have a two yearly chest x-ray. Many others do not. The reason for this is to avoid worrying those who have no active medical problem such as cancer. There is sense in this approach.
However living under the spectre of pleural plaques is a worry for those people that have it. Frequent colds, infections or problems with their chest very often lead victims to believe that the asbestos disease might be getting worse. For most this will not be the case and may be a simple infection or other condition.
Sometimes however asbestos disease can develop.
What asbestos diseases can you get?
Whilst pleural plaques do not cause other asbestos diseases, they are a marker of asbestos exposure. They are a clear sign that you have been exposed to asbestos. The plaques show your body has reacted to it.
Medical research tells us about the small percentage risks people have of getting other diseases. These can be cancers such as mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lung) or lung cancer.
They can be benign conditions like asbestosis or pleural thickening. You can also get pleural effusions – this is a build up of fluid between the lung and rib cage.
There are risks for all these conditions. If you add them up and consider you have those risks for the remainder of your life then it is only sensible to be alert.
Should I be screened by my doctor?
In most cases then you do not need to be.
Unless you have some real pain, or have noticed a change in your cough, or your breathing then you should not be alarmed.
If however you do have problems with your chest then speak to your doctor. NHS doctors operate a two week cancer referral rule if you meet the criteria in the lung cancer campaigns. The link to them is here https://www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer#TrV4jDAxqKdtLXil.97
Under the two-week lung cancer referral rule you will generally be put forward for a chest x-ray. That may put your mind at rest.
If there is any change in your condition, malignant or non-malignant, that the doctors will agree with you what to do next.
Corries Pleural Plaque Register
At Corries we take pleural plaques very seriously. In our experience those who have been exposed to asbestos and get plaques are always a risk. And that risk exists for the rest of their lives.
Our asbestos team deal with people who have gone to develop the worst of diseases – mesothelioma – in victims aged 90 and over.
You are never free of the risk of asbestos disease.
For this reason we offer a pleural plaque register. If you have been diagnosed with pleural plaques we simply take your details, get your work history and then fill in a questionnaire with you to make sure that we have properly recorded your work history. We agree where you were exposed to asbestos.
This is better done whilst you are healthy and can remember it rather than if you get a terminal diagnosis and cannot be well enough to give full and clear evidence.
We use the register to help other people who may have worked for same employers at similar times. There is strength in numbers.
We have several thousand pleural plaques victims on our register. That figure continues to grow. With asbestos disease victims expected to continue to suffer and die up to 2040 then our investment and care is vital.
If the worse happens then you know that you have someone ready to battle for compensation for you.
Here is our link explaining our register https://www.corries.co.uk/asbestos-claims/pleural-plaques-register/
Corries keep a pleural plaque register for you. We hope that you never need us. We are here if you do.
Joining our register could not be simpler. Go to our pleural plaques register page https://www.corries.co.uk/asbestos-claims/pleural-plaques-register/ and fill in the form. Or call us FREE now on 0800 083 7839.