What You Need to Know About a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
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The National Cancer Institute describes diagnosis of the asbestos-caused cancer mesothelioma as a process that begins with a review of the patient’s medical history and includes the gathering of information aimed at identifying moments in his or her life that could have led to contact with asbestos.
[Not sure where to go for a mesothelioma diagnosis? Start with our short list of U.S. hospitals ranked among the best for mesothelioma testing.]
The next step is a complete physical examination, which includes taking x-rays of the chest and performing lung-function tests. A CAT scan or an MRI is often employed to obtain detailed pictures inside the body that can be analyzed on a computer monitor. The doctor conducting the exam will want to rule out heart disease, so he likely will request an echocardiogram (a test that produces an image of the heart muscle using high-frequency sound waves).
Results of these diagnostic tests are then reviewed and, if warranted, the doctor will then arrange for a lung biopsy to be performed. This physically intrusive procedure is conducted under general anesthesia and involves the removal of internal tissue samples for examination with a microscope.
If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, it is essential for the doctor to identify the stage of the cancer and the extent of its spread through the body. Knowing the stage of the disease will help the doctor to devise a treatment plan.
Mesothelioma is usually caused by workplace exposure to airborne asbestos fibers, and because of its long incubation period isn’t diagnosed until decades after the initial exposure to asbestos.
Weitz & Luxenberg is a leading plaintiffs' law firm that has represented people affected by mesothelioma for over 20 years. Men and women diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure may be entitled to compensation from the companies responsible for their disease.
If you would like a free consultation or more information about your legal options, please complete the form on this page, and a representative of our law firm will contact you as soon as possible.