What You Need to Know About a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
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According to the National Cancer Institute, diagnosing the asbestos-caused cancer called mesothelioma begins with a review of the patient’s medical history and the gathering of information to identify moments in a patient’s life that could have led to contact with asbestos and the diagnosis.
[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.]
A complete physical examination is performed, which includes x-rays of the chest and 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. To rule out heart disease the doctor will also request an echocardiogram, which creates an image of the heart muscle using high-frequency sound waves.
Results of these diagnostic tests are 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 under a microscope.
If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, it is essential for the doctor to identify what stage the cancer is in and how far it has spread. 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.