Definitively diagnosing mesothelioma usually involves a series of tests to identify the presence and nature of the tumor(s). Prompt and accurate mesothelioma diagnoses are critical to:
- Ensuring patients receive the proper treatments as soon as possible
- Mitigating the spread (metastasis) of the malignancy
- Improving prognoses.
Have You or a Loved One Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma?
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How Mesothelioma Is Diagnosed: The Process & Tests
When the symptoms of mesothelioma are present, the process of diagnosing the condition generally involves a cancer specialist:
- Identifying the precise symptoms and history of asbestos exposure – This can include discussions with a patient and reviews of his/her medical history. To evaluate the history of asbestos exposure, a specialist may ask about:
- Prior or current jobs, housing or schooling
- Whether there is a history of contact with asbestos fibers or products known to contain them.
- Ruling out the presence of other, more common conditions – Given that mesothelioma symptoms may be non-specific, possibly mimicking symptoms of other conditions, a specialist will likely take steps to determine whether the symptoms may be associated with other common conditions (like asthma or a bronchial infection, for instance).
- Performing various tests – When other conditions have been ruled out, a specialist may conduct a series of imaging and blood tests to establish the presence and scope of the potential malignancy. These tests may include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- X-rays to assess the presence of fluid buildup in the lining(s) of the lungs, abdomen and/or heart
- CT & PET scans to quickly spot where tumors are present and whether they are malignant
- MRIs to evaluate whether the malignancy has spread to other areas of the body
- Blood tests to assess whether cancerous cells are present in the body and whether a biopsy is needed.
- Conducting a biopsy – This involves collecting and analyzing a tissue sample from a patient. Biopsies can be minimally invasive or require surgery. Once the sample has been collected, it will be carefully examined to determine whether the tumor is the result of mesothelioma (or some other cancer or condition).
Misdiagnoses of Mesothelioma
With mesothelioma symptoms being fairly generic (if not latent) in early stages, it is not uncommon for this condition to be misdiagnosed early on. Some common misdiagnoses for mesothelioma, based on the type of condition present, include (and are not limited to):
- Emphysema, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma (for pleural mesothelioma)
- Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and hernia (for peritoneal mesothelioma)
- Heart failure and coronary heart disease (for pericardial mesothelioma).
Tragically, misdiagnosed mesothelioma can delay the delivery of the proper treatment(s). That can mean that mesothelioma is allowed to progress to later, more severe stages.
Get on the Road to Recovery: Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
While cancer specialists can diagnose mesothelioma and determine the options for physical recovery, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can help you identify and pursue your legal options for financial recovery.
Call (877) 892-2797, text (281) 612-8024 or email our firm for your FREE, no obligations consultation. Taking this one step can be pivotal to understanding more about your potential mesothelioma claim and how to position it for success.
With more than 22 years’ experience representing mesothelioma patients and their families, our attorneys have the insight, knowledge and skills to effectively:
- Advocate your rights
- Build you a strong claim
While compensation can never make up for an incurable condition or reverse a permanent loss, it can provide the means for seeking treatment and restoring lives.