Doctors Develop New Mesothelioma Evaluation Tool

Approximately 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Sadly, there is a 2-year survival rate for this disease because it can take decades for noticeable symptoms to develop; in fact, the “average age for a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is 72,” according to Cancer.Net.

Developing a treatment plan is one of the greatest challenges in treating a patient’s mesothelioma symptoms. For this reason, doctors at MD Anderson have developed the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI). In a study posted in the Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes, the doctors behind this new process explain, “The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MDASI-MPM) was adapted from the general (core) MDASI to assess the severity of cancer-related and treatment-related symptoms specific to patients with this condition. The MDASI-MPM includes the 13 core MDASI symptoms, which are experienced by most cancer patients, and 6 MPM-specific items developed via qualitative interviewing, a method favored by the US Food and Drug Administration for instrument item generation and development.”

The MDASI was developed to help doctors and patients by having the latter rate 13 common cancer symptoms, including pain and fatigue. The patient is also asked to describe how their symptoms affect their daily lives. For example, if doctor asks how a patient’s condition affects their ability to walk, the patient can reply with a score ranging between 0 and 10. With this information, the doctor can customize a treatment plan that takes the patient’s specific pains and symptoms into account.  

The MSADI asks patients to analyze the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain
  • Distress
  • Muscle weakness
  • Feeling of malaise
  • Lack of appetite
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Chest heaviness or tightness
  • Feeling sad
  • Coughing
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Numbness
  • Eye problems
  • Trouble with balance or falling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The doctors tested the MDASI on 248 patients (ages 42-84) to learn which symptoms are consistently taxing for mesothelioma patients. They discovered that the study participants shared 7 serious symptoms: fatigue, distress, shortness of breath, pain, muscle weakness, feelings of malaise, and a lack of appetite. The doctors hope that other medical professionals will use the MSADI to develop beneficial treatment plans in the future.  

Explore Your Legal Options Today

At Shrader & Associates, L.L.P, we proudly and vocally support any scientific effort that improves the lives of mesothelioma patients. Contact our firm today if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with this terrible disease. Our legal team can evaluate your case and help you pursue damages against any negligent parties. If your lawsuit is successful, you may be able to secure damages that facilitate your financial recovery and aid your family.

Contact Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. at (844) 256-8685 to schedule a consultation today.

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