There are thousands of new mesothelioma cases diagnosed each year by doctors in the United States. Mesothelioma is a very complex form of cancer, and as such, can be difficult to diagnose. Its latency period can be anywhere between 10 to 50 years, meaning that symptoms may not even show up for decades after the initial asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer. Because of this, it is sometimes confused by doctors as a different type of cancer or less-serious illness. Its symptoms are similar to those of a number of other medical conditions.
The diagnosis process typically consists of:
- Medical history review – A doctor will first ask the patient about their medical history. It is important for the patient to disclose any information about possibly being exposed to asbestos, especially if they worked within any of the common trades at risk.
- Physical examination – This will involve imaging including x-rays of the chest or abdomen, as well as CT scans. The doctor will also perform lung function tests and possibly call for blood tests.
- Biopsy – If any abnormal growths are seen during imaging, the doctor will call for a biopsy where fluid or tissue will be taken from the growth to see if there is any malignancy.
- Staging – If the diagnosis is, in fact, mesothelioma, the doctor will stage the disease to find out whether the cancer has spread. Knowing the stage of the disease allows the doctor to plan the most effective treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos, contact our mesothelioma lawyers today. You can also get a free consultation or learn more information by calling 866-613-9319.