Mesothelioma detection, like other cancers, can be accomplished with imaging equipment such as x-ray machines. But once detected, mesothelioma diagnosis is difficult because of the extended time period between the exposure to asbestos and the onset of the disease.
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What’s the problem?
Mesothelioma diagnosis typically begins with a sufferer’s visit to the doctor complaining of chronic chest pain. This pain is caused as a result of a buildup of fluid inside the pleural space; this is called pleural effusion and is the most common presenting symptom of malignant mesothelioma.
X-rays and other types of imaging technologies can be used to detect tumors or effusion (build up of fluid) in the body, including mesothelioma detection. A growth in the chest cavity will show up in an X-ray or MRI analysis. But these devices cannot directly determine the type of cancer or provide a mesothelioma diagnosis.
The only way to definitively verify a suspected case of malignant mesothelioma is through a biopsy. A biopsy is a relatively minor procedure (dependent on the location of the tumor) during which a small section of suspect tissue is removed. The removed section is examined by a histopathologist, an expert in the study of diseased tissue.
Due to this diagnostic confusion, much research is underway to find new methods for diagnosis. One method is to evaluate the types of compounds generated by the mesothelioma cancer cells. Immunochemistry is also being used to detect mesothelioma. This area of study evaluates the presence of antibodies in the body. Certain types of antibodies are known to be associated with certain types of cancer.
Those who may have been exposed to asbestos in the past are encouraged to disclose such information to their doctor. If possible, consulting with a physician who is experienced in detecting signs of asbestos exposure or dealing with mesothelioma is most beneficial.
Do I have a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in mesothelioma lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.