According to a Cancer.net article from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a chest x-ray can show mesothelioma, but it is not the primary diagnostic tool used to make a diagnosis. A doctor may use a chest x-ray to confirm that a patient has mesothelioma and to pinpoint the location of the cancer. Doctors may also use one or more other imaging tests to make a diagnosis.
What Is Mesothelioma?
The Mesothelioma Center explains that mesothelioma is a type of cancer that may affect the lining around the lungs, heart, or abdomen, or the testes. In about 75 to 80 percent of patients who have mesothelioma, the illness begins in the pleura, or the lining that surrounds the lungs.
Mesothelioma has a low survival rate, in large part because people are often diagnosed late, after the cancer has spread. Survival rates also depend on the type of mesothelioma. Patients who are diagnosed early and who can undergo surgery tend to live longer than those who are diagnosed later.
How Can Mesothelioma Be Diagnosed?
A patient who has pleural mesothelioma may experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, pleural effusion (buildup of fluid in the chest), and chest pain. Symptoms of all forms of mesothelioma include weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, and problems with blood clotting. A doctor may order one or more imaging tests to figure out if a patient has mesothelioma or another condition.
A CT scan (computed tomography) takes a series of x-rays from different angles and combines them to create a 3-D image. A CT scan can help a doctor figure out the size of a tumor.
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses magnetic fields to produce images. This type of test can also be used to determine the size of a tumor.
When a patient undergoes a PET scan (positron emission tomography), a radiolabeled sugar substance is injected into the body. Cancer cells absorb more of the substance than other tissues because cancer uses more energy. A scanner then detects the sugar substance and produces an image that can help a doctor identify the cancer.
A doctor may also perform a physical examination, blood and lung function tests, a biopsy, and tests of lung fluid. A chest x-ray that shows mesothelioma can confirm a diagnosis.
Diagnostic tests can help a doctor determine the stage of the mesothelioma based on where it is located and whether it has spread. That can help the doctor recommend an appropriate treatment plan, which may include surgery, radiation, medication, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
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What Causes Mesothelioma?
Most people who have mesothelioma developed cancer after inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that are strong, flexible, and fireproof. The Mesothelioma Center explains that asbestos was used for decades in building materials, automotive parts, fire blankets, and numerous household products, such as appliances, cosmetics, cigarette filters, and holiday decorations. Some manufacturers continued to use asbestos in products and to sell them to the general public even after they learned that asbestos could cause cancer.
Many people who worked around asbestos were exposed to it day in and day out for years, and they were often completely unaware of the danger they faced. Workers could also carry asbestos home on their bodies and clothing and expose their families to the carcinogen. In addition, some people who never worked with asbestos but who used household goods that contained it later developed mesothelioma.
Seek Financial Compensation for Expenses Related to Mesothelioma
Since 1985, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented clients across the United States who suffered personal injuries due to the actions or negligence of others. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we may be able to investigate to uncover the source of your exposure and seek financial compensation on your behalf.
Even if the company that was responsible for your exposure to asbestos has declared bankruptcy, we may be able to obtain a financial award to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Asbestos trust funds have been created to compensate people who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation
We understand that you may be overwhelmed by medical bills and struggling to cover your mortgage and other household expenses. You may be thinking that you could not possibly afford to hire an attorney. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. That means that clients who come to us seeking help with personal injury cases do not have to pay us anything up front. We only collect a fee if we succeed in obtaining a financial settlement on behalf of a client.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm does not shy away from the tough cases. Call a member of our legal team today at (800) 794-0444 to learn more about how we may be able to help you.