Mesothelioma patients are typically diagnosed within three to six months of their first visit to a doctor with complaints about breathing problems or chest / abdominal pain. The first step involved in a proper diagnosis is providing a full medical history to your doctor, including details about possible exposure to asbestos.
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What’s the problem?
As with all diseases, a doctor begins the mesothelioma diagnosis by doing a complete physical exam and reviewing your medical history. Because mesothelioma is almost always caused by breathing in asbestos, you should tell your doctor about your exposure to asbestos if you suspect you may have mesothelioma. After performing the physical exam, a doctor should have x-rays of the chest performed and pulmonary function tests to determine if the symptoms are consistent with malignant mesothelioma.
Additionally, a doctor may order CT scans and / or MRI’s to aid in the diagnosis. These tools allow a doctor to assess the size, location, and extent of the tumor in the chest or abdomen.
If, after performing these tests, a doctor suspects mesothelioma, a biopsy should be taken to confirm the diagnosis. A biopsy is used for obtaining a tissue sample of the tumor. Although a biopsy is the most effective procedure for diagnosing mesothelioma, malignant mesothelioma cells can look like other types of cancer. Therefore, special laboratory tests are sometimes performed or electron microscopes are used to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma.
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.