You’ve seen the commercials and read about it online. You may even know someone who is going through treatment for mesothelioma. If you have any reason to believe you may be suffering from this serious illness, it’s critical to consult with your doctor.
If you have any signs and symptoms associated with mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct a physical exam with the idea of learning more about your health. For example, they’ll check your body, primarily your chest, for any suspicious lumps.
Your doctor will then run a variety of scans, including a CT scan and X-ray, to pinpoint any abnormalities in your chest and/or abdomen.
If everything is clean, your doctor may rule out mesothelioma for the time being. However, if they find something abnormal, such as a mass on your lungs, they’ll order a biopsy.
A biopsy is the only surefire way to determine if you have mesothelioma. There are two standard ways to obtain a biopsy:
- Insert a needle through the skin to remove a piece of tissue or fluid
- Collect a tissue sample during surgery
After the tissue is analyzed, your medical team can make a definitive diagnosis. If it’s found that you have mesothelioma, additional tests are typically ordered to determine the extent of the disease.
This is also when you’ll learn more about the stage of your mesothelioma, ranging from I to IV. Stage one means the disease is localized, thus giving you the best chance of survival. As the stage increases, so does the seriousness of the disease.
Just the same as any form of cancer, the sooner you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis the sooner you can receive targeted treatment to help you live your best life. While there is no cure for the disease, there are steps you can take to keep it at bay.
If you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, talk to your doctor about potential causes. In most cases, this is a result of asbestos exposure, such as at a current or former place of employment.
As time allows, determine if asbestos exposure was the result of another party’s negligence. If it was, you may be able to seek compensation for your illness and related damages.