You may get tested for mesothelioma by a physical exam, a biopsy, and one or more imaging tests to find out whether a patient has the disease. In many cases, multiple tests are needed to make an accurate diagnosis and to figure out how advanced the cancer is.
Mesothelioma from Asbestos Exposure
The American Society of Clinical Oncology explains that mesothelioma is a form of cancer that may start in the lining that surrounds the lungs, heart, abdomen, or testicles.
Many people who have mesothelioma developed the disease after being exposed to asbestos, natural fibers that were mined and used for decades to make a wide range of products. Asbestos was used in building supplies, automotive parts, fireproof equipment, appliances, cigarette filters, cosmetics, holiday decorations, and other common items.
Patients with pleural mesothelioma may notice a buildup of fluid in the area around the lungs. Those with peritoneal mesothelioma may have an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. A doctor may conduct a physical exam to search for any lumps that would indicate a buildup of cancer cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. If any are found, more testing will be needed to figure out the extent of the patient’s mesothelioma.
A physician may order a biopsy, a procedure in which a small amount of tissue is removed so it can be studied in a lab. A sample is sometimes removed with a needle, while in other cases, a doctor makes an incision and uses a thin, lighted tube to remove a tissue sample.
A doctor may also order blood tests to check kidney, thyroid, liver, and bone marrow function. Lung function tests, or pulmonary function tests, can reveal how well the lungs are working.
A physician may order one or more imaging tests to discover what stage of cancer the patient has. A CT scan, MRI, or PET scan can provide additional information.
Diagnostic tests for mesothelioma can help a doctor figure out how advanced the cancer is. The stage depends on the location of the tumor, whether it has spread, and if so, to where.
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Becoming Exposed to Asbestos
People who were exposed to asbestos on the job were often not aware of the danger and were not given protective equipment. Many of those individuals were diagnosed with mesothelioma decades later.
Some workers also exposed their family members to asbestos by carrying fibers home on their bodies and clothes. In some cases, relatives of people who worked with asbestos developed mesothelioma later. In addition, consumers who bought and used products that contained asbestos have been diagnosed with the disease.
Mesothelioma often goes undetected for years, or even decades. When it is diagnosed, the illness is typically at an advanced stage because patients often will not feel symptoms until the cancer progresses. Patients often have few treatment options and little time left before they succumb to the disease.
A Personal Injury Attorney May Be Able to Help You Seek Justice
Mesothelioma can leave patients unable to work or to care for their families. If you are facing financial strain because of your diagnosis, and your family is worried about how to cover necessities such as housing and groceries, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek financial compensation. While nothing can undo the damage that has been done, we may be able to obtain a financial award to cover your medical bills and to give your family some financial security.
If you do not know how you were exposed to asbestos, we may be able to figure that out. We may then file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the company accountable. If the business has declared bankruptcy, we may still be able to obtain compensation for you. Many companies faced a flood of mesothelioma lawsuits, declared bankruptcy, and set up trust funds to compensate victims.
If you think that you would not be able to afford a lawyer, that does not need to be a concern. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm works on contingency, which means that clients who seek help with personal injury cases do not have to pay us anything up front. Our firm only gets paid if we obtain a financial award for a client. Call our office at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your legal options with a member of our staff.