Mesothelioma screening means testing people for early stages of a disease before they have any symptoms. If you have signs and symptoms that might indicate mesothelioma cancer, your doctor will conduct a physical exam, paying particular attention to areas where you're experiencing pain. He or she checks for any lumps or other unusual signs. Your doctor may order other tests to determine the cause of your signs and symptoms, including:
- Chest X-ray. X-rays may show abnormalities if you have pleural mesothelioma.
- Chest or abdominal CT scan. Computerized tomography (CT) may reveal abnormalities in your chest or abdomen if you have mesothelioma.
It's not uncommon for mesothelioma to be misdiagnosed initially because mesothelioma is rare and its signs and symptoms aren't specific. Your doctor will likely rule out other more common conditions before considering mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Screening - Biopsy
Biopsy, a surgical procedure to remove a small portion of the mesothelium for laboratory examination, is the only way to determine whether you have mesothelioma.
Depending on what area of your body is affected, your doctor selects the right biopsy procedure for you. Options include:
- Fine-needle aspiration. The doctor removes fluid or a piece of tissue with a small needle inserted into your chest or abdomen.
- Thoracoscopy. Thoracoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your chest. In this procedure, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions between your ribs. He or she inserts a tube with a tiny video camera to see inside your chest cavity â€” a procedure sometimes called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Special surgical tools allow your surgeon to cut away a piece of tissue.
- Laparoscopy. Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen. Using one or more incisions into your abdomen, the surgeon inserts a tiny camera and special surgical tools to obtain a small piece of tissue for examination.
- Thoracotomy. Thoracotomy is surgery to open your chest to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. He or she removes a sample of tissue for testing.
- Laparotomy. Laparotomy is surgery to open your abdomen to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. He or she removes a sample of tissue for testing.
Once the tissue sample has been collected through biopsy, the sample is analyzed under a microscope. This determines whether or not the abnormal tissue is mesothelioma. Biopsy samples also allow your doctor to test for the type of cells involved in your mesothelioma. The type of mesothelioma you have is used to determine your treatment plan.
Other screening methods for diagnosis of asbestos-related disease include various imaging tests. In addition to X-rays, methods include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET). A more recent and promising screening method is the computed tomography (CT) scan.
Those dealing with asbestos and mesothelioma face a number of challenges, including the tremendous costs of treatment. If you were unknowingly exposed to harmful levels of asbestos, you have legal rights and there is help available for you.
Deciding which law firm to represent you and your case is very important. Choosing the right law firm will also be important to your settlement. You are entitled to an experienced mesothelioma law firm who has a track record of success in asbestos lawsuits.
It is not uncommon for there to be 10-20 parties that are named in a asbestos lawsuit that are located across the United States. For example, a worker in California may have been exposed to asbestos from asbestos products shipped from Libby, Montana or from an iron ore plant in St. Paul Minnesota. This is why it is very important to obtain an experienced asbestos mesothelioma law firm that knows all of the companies in each state who have responsibility for your asbestos exposure.
If you are a grieving family member or executor of the will of a person who has died from asbestos-related disease or mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a claim as well.
We help with you file Mesothelioma and Asbestos-related claims in each state
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