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How Do You Test for Mesothelioma?

How Do You Test for Mesothelioma?

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How Do You Test for Mesothelioma?

If you recently experienced symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and others, you might wonder, “How do you test for mesothelioma?” While medical professionals typically use several tests to diagnose the condition, a biopsy is the most reliable way to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis.  

According to the American Cancer Society, eight out of ten mesothelioma cases arise due to asbestos exposure. Therefore, if you developed the condition, you could qualify for compensation from a previous employer or another responsible party. However, receiving damages for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can be an uphill struggle. 

We understand that trying to get what you deserve while fighting mesothelioma can feel overwhelming. Morgan & Morgan can be here for you. Our mesothelioma attorneys could help you pursue the compensation you need to receive innovative medical treatments and make your life as comfortable as possible. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue covering most of our internal organs. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly disease that can affect the lining of the lungs, heart, and stomach. Most mesotheliomas develop after long-term asbestos exposure. Once asbestos fibers enter the body due to inhalation or ingestion, they can cause inflammation leading to mesothelioma and other diseases. Mesothelioma affecting the lungs, also called pleural mesothelioma, is the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease. 

Common Mesothelioma Symptoms 

Symptoms of mesothelioma can include, among others:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal, chest, or rib pain
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Muscle weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss

Tests Available for Detecting Mesothelioma

Suspecting that you suffer from mesothelioma can be frightening and stressful. However, the sooner you discuss your symptoms with a doctor, the sooner you can receive a clean bill of health or start life-saving treatment if mesothelioma is confirmed. How you test for mesothelioma can involve several steps, including but not limited to: 

Physical Exam 

Your doctor will most likely begin by asking about your symptoms and assessing your medical history. Make sure to tell your medical provider whether you were exposed to asbestos, even if it happened decades ago. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam to try and rule out any other conditions. Mesothelioma is a rare condition, and symptoms of the disease can point to many other illnesses. 

Blood Test

Some blood tests can detect signs of mesothelioma. However, blood tests alone can usually not confirm or discount a mesothelioma diagnosis alone and should be used together with other testing methods. 

Diagnostic Imaging 

Imaging tests can be useful for locating and sizing mesothelioma tumors and can help doctors determine the extent and stage of cancer. Imaging tests used for mesothelioma diagnosis include:

X-Rays

Doctors can use X-rays results to identify some signs of mesothelioma, such as tumors or fluid buildup in the affected areas. 

CT Scans

CT or CAT scans are performed with a much larger machine and are more precise and better defined than x-rays. The detailed nature of a CT scan shows smaller tumors and helps doctors with staging mesothelioma and determine how far advanced the disease is.

MRIs

MRIs use electromagnetic technology to generate detailed images that can help investigate brain tissue, bone, and nerve tissue. MRIs can show which tissues are affected by mesothelioma and how far cancer has spread or metastasized. 

Mesothelioma Biopsy

A biopsy is a procedure used by doctors to remove some tissue for laboratory analysis and examination. There can be various types of biopsies for diagnosing mesothelioma. However, the most common is thoracoscopy, performed with an endoscope while the patient is under a general anesthetic. During a thoracoscopy, the doctor removes small tissue samples from the area between the lungs and the chest wall. The samples are then forwarded to a laboratory to examine them for cancer cells. 

Mesothelioma is a rare illness and can take decades to develop. Unfortunately, diagnosing the condition in its early stages can be challenging. Most cases are discovered when at an advanced stage. Symptoms of mesothelioma also often mirror those of common illnesses, potentially further delaying a diagnosis. In most cases, specialists will use a variety of tests to diagnose mesothelioma accurately. Although only a biopsy, such as a pleural aspiration or thoracoscopy, can confirm a suspected mesothelioma diagnosis beyond doubt. 

Treatments for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is currently incurable. However, if detected early, a patient could have several treatment options prolonging their life expectancy and keeping the disease at bay. Treatments for mesothelioma can include:

Surgery

Surgeons may be able to remove some mesothelioma tumors with an operation. In most instances, surgery alone does not remove all cancer and is used to limit disease progression. 

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is used in many cancer treatment plans and works by killing cancer cells. Chemotherapy can help slow the growth and spread of mesothelioma. 

Radiation 

Radiation can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors and is typically used for relieving pain and extending survival for people with mesothelioma. 

Commonly, doctors will try to use a combination of therapies, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, depending on a patient’s circumstances. Innovative treatments such as immunotherapy can also help keep the condition in check. Since mesothelioma is generally incurable, treatments tend to focus on improving patients’ quality of life and prolonging their life expectancy. 

Mesothelioma Sufferers Could Pursue Compensation

If you are suffering from mesothelioma, you will most likely need costly ongoing treatment for the rest of your life. While no amount of compensation can restore your health, a settlement can help deal with the steep medical costs you could face. While there is no cure for mesothelioma, receiving early treatment, and having access to clinical trials and innovative new treatments, could increase your life expectancy. 

The compensation you could receive from a mesothelioma lawsuit can include:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Medical devices
  • Medications
  • Medical transportation costs
  • Household assistance
  • Lost wages and loss of future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Loss of life enjoyment
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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • What Are My Options for Receiving a Mesothelioma Settlement?

    If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, there could be several options for recovering compensation. For example, you could hold a previous employer accountable. Options for recovering a settlement for your medical bills and other expenses can include: 

    Asbestos Trust Funds

    Numerous companies who exposed their workers to asbestos had to set up mesothelioma or asbestos trust funds to compensate their employees for damages. People with other asbestos-related illnesses could also receive compensation from trust funds. 

    However, each trust has different qualifying rules and pays out varying amounts to those suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Therefore, it can be difficult for sufferers to secure adequate damages. To receive a settlement from an asbestos trust fund, you have to file a claim and provide evidence linking your illness to asbestos and your employment. 

    Veterans Benefits

    According to the VA, Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma can apply for benefits if they can prove that the condition is related to their military service. You could receive a monthly disability compensation payment and other benefits if you qualify. Veterans and surviving family members can apply. To receive mesothelioma-related benefits, veterans must provide relevant medical records and evidence of asbestos exposure during service. 

    Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

    Sufferers of mesothelioma could qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. If a company negligently or recklessly exposed you to asbestos, you could have a case against them and pursue compensation. The surviving family members of those who passed away from the condition could also file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive damages. 

    If you are a mesothelioma sufferer or a loved one passed away from the illness, consider speaking to our mesothelioma lawyers. who can help you explore any available options for getting what you deserve. 

  • How Much Is a Mesothelioma Settlement?

    Mesothelioma settlements can vary. However, damages can be considerable. According to the Los Angeles Times, the largest settlement ever recorded was in the case of Roby Whittington, a terminal mesothelioma sufferer who sued U.S. Steel Corp. in 2003. The company was ordered to pay $250 million to the former employee who had developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during employment at U.S. Steel.   

    However, lawsuits are not the only way to recover compensation. According to the Rand Institute of Civil Justice, victims of asbestos exposure at work received around $3.3 billion from trust funds in 2008.

    Although there is no average settlement amount for mesothelioma sufferers, compensation can help victims and their families avert financial hardship and make life as comfortable as possible for sufferers of the disease. If you want to find out whether you qualify for a settlement and what your case could be worth, consider contacting Morgan & Morgan’s mesothelioma legal team for help and advice. You could qualify for a significant settlement.

  • Can I Afford a Morgan & Morgan Mesothelioma Lawyer?

    Suffering from mesothelioma can be a substantial financial burden for patients and families. Ongoing medical treatments and long-term care can cause astronomical expenses. However, you should not have to worry about being out of pocket when hiring a mesothelioma lawyer to fight for what you deserve. When Morgan & Morgan handles your case, you do not pay a dime unless we recover compensation.

  • I Don’t Know Where I Was Exposed; Can I Still File a Claim?

    Most cases of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure. You could have a legal case even if you do not remember where you were exposed to the harmful fibers. Morgan & Morgan could help. Our asbestos attorneys can investigate your case by closely looking at your previous workplaces. We could determine whether a company produced asbestos, asbestos was contained in any products you handled, or you encountered the substance in other ways during your employment. 

    If you served in the military, we could investigate where your asbestos exposure is likely to have occurred. Once we have established the facts, we can go after the company responsible and hold them accountable for your injury.

  • How Long Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

    Each state has a different deadline for filing mesothelioma lawsuits. Missing the deadline can mean that you will be unable to receive any compensation for your asbestos-related condition even if you have a good case. Therefore, if you were diagnosed with mesothelioma recently, consider contacting an attorney for assistance as soon as possible. 

  • Where Can I Find Cutting-Edge Treatment for Mesothelioma?

    Since mesothelioma is a rare disease, it can be tough to find adequate treatment. Mesothelioma treatment centers can be an excellent choice as they benefit from the expertise of mesothelioma specialists and can offer the latest treatments. Mesothelioma centers could also allow you to join a clinical trial. Notable treatment centers include, among others:

    • H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, FL
    • Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA
    • Mount Sinai Hospital in New York
    • MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX
    • UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, CA

    If you are not sure about your mesothelioma treatment options, we could help point you in the right direction. 

  • Our Mesothelioma Attorneys Can Fight for You  

    If you want to find out how to test for mesothelioma and what your next best steps are if you are diagnosed with the disease, Morgan & Morgan can help. We know that getting diagnosed with mesothelioma can come as a huge shock for a patient and their family. However, we can walk you through your options for recovering what you deserve. In the last 30 years, we have recovered more than $10 billion in damages for our clients and have helped countless asbestos victims. We could help you recover what you need for your future financial stability and medical requirements. Get started today and contact us for a free case review to find out how we can help.

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