Mesothelioma: Top Five Things You Need to Know About a Diagnosis

September 10, 2014

You’d think having mesothelioma was the hardest thing a mesothelioma patient and his or her family ever has to go through. But, unfortunately, even getting that mesothelioma diagnosis is hard enough for many patients, because mesothelioma is a rather rare and little-understood cancer. The “rareness factor”has a lot to do with the cause of mesothelioma: asbestos. A fact that, when you think of how needless and even negligent the use of asbestos has been in the last century, makes one rethink the “rare”bit to see just how all-too-common deadly exposures to asbestos are.

A huge factor in proper, and prompt, diagnosis is understanding the big risk factor for mesothelioma —exposure to asbestos. Because, without an understanding of the risk factor or their heightened risk, patients with mesothelioma are likely to have to undergo many, many different doctor visits, treatments and tests before getting to the real problem and diagnosis —mesothelioma.

Because the best treatment for mesothelioma comes at the first sign of symptoms, it is so important to understand the risk factor (Asbestos!), what the early symptoms are and what the diagnosis process looks like. This is information that could help get mesothelioma patients the treatment they need (and even more time to live), so we encourage you to share it with anyone you know who may have had an increased risk of coming into contact with asbestos. To read more about increased work-related risks for developing asbestos, please visit this page. In addition, you can learn about other main factors of exposure here, exposure for veterans here and even second-hand exposure here. You especially need to be aware if you or someone you know worked in construction, shipbuilding or asbestos mining.

The earliest symptoms of mesothelioma are:

  • Pain at the side of the chest
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Cough or fever
  • Shortness of brain

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Mesothelioma Diagnosis:

  1. The cancer is rare while the symptoms are common. That’s a dangerous combination that means: There Is No Similar Path For Each Mesothelioma Diagnosis. Because it is rare and because the symptoms begin as more common ailments, every patient has to push and fight for their diagnosis, and it can be a gruesome battle to finally get the right mesothelioma diagnosis.
  2. Two to three months. That’s the most “common” amount of time a patient has to wait in uncertainty between having the initial symptoms of mesothelioma and getting the diagnosis of mesothelioma.
  3. Doctors identify mesothelioma from this procedure: pleural biopsy.
  4. Mesothelioma probably won’t be your first diagnosis. And it might not be your second, or even your third. This is particularly true if you went to your general practitioner first (read: not a mesothelioma expert), or if you did not mention any history to your doctor that alerted them to your increased risk of exposure to asbestos.
  5. It can be helpful for patients to get diagnosed and treated early for mesothelioma. If you or someone you know worked in an industry that puts them at high risk, you need to be especially aware of the earliest symptoms. (So share this article and post it on your Facebook page!)

We encourage you to share the Top Five Things You Need to Know About a Mesothelioma Diagnosis with those you know who may have an increased risk of mesothelioma. It could make the difference between a false diagnosis and a quick, true diagnosis that could give them more time. Please share!

And if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, now is the time to start thinking about looking for a mesothelioma lawyer. Please contact one of our lawyers at (866) 538-0485 or email us here for a free and confidential consult.