As our mesothelioma attorneys have reported, the long incubation period between the time of asbestos exposure and a mesothelioma diagnosis can result in a patient not seeking legal advice or the compensation he or she deserves.
Recently, we looked at some answers to some common questions on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Today we look at diagnosis and treatment options as identified by the National Cancer Institute.
Making a proper diagnosis is often difficult, which can lead to a delay in diagnosis of mesothelioma or failure to diagnose. Either can be devastating because of the aggressive nature of the disease.
Typically, diagnosis will include a complete physical exam, x-rays and lung tests. A CAT scan or MRI will also be useful. To confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a biopsy will need to be performed. This may be done via a thoracoscopy, which involves a small chest incision, or a peritoneoscopy for cases in which the suspected cancer is in the abdomen. In some cases, more extensive surgery may be necessary.
In cases in which a diagnosis of mesothelioma is confirmed, a Stage of the disease will need to be determined. The cancer is localized if it is found only where it originated. Advanced mesothelioma will be diagnosed in cases where the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall or abdominal organs.
Treatment options depend on a number of factors, including the age and health of the patient, the stage of the disease and the location of the cancer.
Surgery: Typically, the doctor removes part of the lining of the chest and the tissue around it. A lung or part of the diaphragm may also be removed.
Radiation therapy: Is used to attempt to kill the cancer cells and shrink the tumor.
Chemotherapy: Involves the use of anti-cancer drugs. Most are given by injection.
Advanced Treatment Options:
Clinical trials are ongoing in an effort to find new and better treatment options. People interested in taking part in clinical trials should talk to their doctor.
The Ferraro Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services to mesothelioma patients and their families. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.