If you suspect that you may have mesothelioma, you need to take action right away. Early detection is the key to extending your life and maintaining your quality of life for as long as possible. Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma, but treatments are improving. Patients who get treatment early are eligible for the most advanced treatments and respond better to any type of treatment than those who get started later down the road.
If you know or suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos at any time in your life, you must tell your doctor. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not develop until 50 years after the exposure occurred. If you do not tell your doctor, he may not consider the possibility of asbestos-related illness and your diagnosis may be delayed until it is too late for you to benefit from the best treatments.
When a doctor suspects mesothelioma, the first diagnostic tests he orders are usually imaging tests. These can include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Imaging tests cannot specifically confirm mesothelioma, but can reveal certain indicators of the cancer including fluid build up in the lining of the lungs, growths and tumors, pleural thickening, and signs of other asbestos-related diseases.
Biopsy and Surgery
Your doctor may perform a biopsy of fluid or tissue, to test for the presence of cancer cells. When fluid is tested it can be removed with a long, thin needle.
In some cases, surgery is necessary to remove tissue for biopsy. There are several kinds of surgery that may be used.
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is less invasive than older methods and involves less pain and a faster recovery. In VATS a small incision is made and your surgeon will use a tiny camera to view the area where the tissue is removed.
A blood test called Mesomark became available in the U.S. in 2007. It measures soluble mesothelin–related protein (SMRP) levels in the blood. Elevated SMRP is a sign of mesothelioma. Mesomark is also used to measure the effectiveness of mesothelioma treatment.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and have been diagnosed with any of the diseases related to it, you may very well deserve compensation. Click on your state on the above map to contact a mesothelioma lawyer in your state. Alternatively, please e-mail or call us at 1-877-LOSS RECOVER (567-7732) today to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer near you.