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Pleural Thickening Prognosis

There is currently no cure for diffuse pleural thickening. However, the outlook (prognosis) is often good as, for many people, the condition does not worsen with time.

Worsening of symptoms

Pleural thickening can take many years to develop, often around 20  and for many the symptoms will be mild. However some patients may suffer an increase in:-


An individual may start to notice breathlessness on exertion eg climbing the stairs. In some individuals this disability can be significant such that a person may have difficulty walking on level ground.

Chest Pain

This is partly because the lungs are less elastic and cannot inflate properly. The impaired lung function can go on to cause a general disability in the individual. Doctors can prescribe medications to help ease.

Build up of fluid

An individual may suffer a build-up of fluid between the lung and the chest wall (pleural effusion) this can be drained by a Doctor to ease the symptoms.

Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer

There is a slightly increased risk of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer in those with pleural thickening.

Is Pleural Thickening on the increase?

The HSE have reported an increase in the number of cases being assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. There were 440 such cases in 2011 compared to 150 in 1991.

With us, it’s personal

The National Asbestos Helpline was set up to help asbestos related disease sufferers and their families.

With our knowledgeable, professional and compassionate approach, we help and support thousands of people across the UK to access financial, emotional and practical support and, where appropriate, legal representation from specialist asbestos compensation claims solicitors.

If you, a family member or a friend has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, Pleural Thickening, Asbestosis, Asbestos Lung Cancer or Pleural Plaques, we are here to help.