Symptoms such as difficulty in breathing or chest pain can lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma. mesothelioma symptoms are very similar to those of other illnesses and the diagnosis is sometimes overlooked. Here is a detailed list of the steps involved in diagnosis mesothelioma:
- One crucial step in obtaining an accurate diagnosis of mesothelioma is to compile a detailed medical history for the patient, enabling the doctor to determine whether the patient has been exposed to any mesothelioma risk factors, focusing on asbestos exposure. During this visit, the doctor will also probably examine the patient for the presence of fluid in the lungs or the abdomen, which may point to pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma.
- The patient will undergo diagnostic testing to rule out other diseases. This may include blood tests used to detect cancerous cells, X-rays, CT scans, and MRI. If, at this point, a specific disease or illness is not identified, the doctor will order a biopsy.
- If it has been found that a patient has mesothelioma, more tests are often needed to determine which stage his or her mesothelioma has reached and to establish mesothelioma prognosis and treatment plan.
Mesothelioma Misdiagnosis or Diagnosis Mesothelioma Delayed
Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed or diagnosed later than most other types of cancer. Most of the early symptoms of mesothelioma are very similar to those of less severe illnesses, such as the common cold or flu. Another reason mesothelioma victims may experience a delayed diagnosis is that this is a rare disease. Only about 3,000 Americans are given a diagnosis of mesothelioma each year, and mesothelioma cancer cells closely resemble the cell structure of other forms of cancer.
Mesothelioma is known to have a long latency period, which means that a person’s exposure to asbestos could occur and even end years before he or she experiences any symptoms of mesothelioma cancer. As with most types of cancer, early diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma can dramatically lengthen a patient’s life expectancy. For this reason, if you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos it is important that you make this known to your doctor so that he or she may monitor the health of your lungs carefully.
Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the cause of the cancer was most likely exposure to asbestos. In many cases, mesothelioma patients have successfully brought charges against companies or other entities responsible for exposing them to asbestos. While there is no way to compensate for the loss of one’s health, a mesothelioma attorney can help victims recover damages to help with medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. Our attorneys have spent decades studying mesothelioma and protecting the rights of mesothelioma victims.
If you would like more information on asbestos, mesothelioma, or associated lawsuits, we invite you to contact us. A member of our team will be happy to answer all of your questions.