How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Mesothelioma can be a devastating diagnosis, leading to a lot of fear and uncertainty about one’s future. In fact, it is often difficult to detect, as the symptoms of the disease can mimic more commonly occurring ailments.  Accordingly, if you were exposed to asbestos developed mesothelioma as a result, contact Stern Law, PLLC now at (844) to learn more about your legal rights and options.  While you did not deserve to get mesothelioma, you do deserve to be compensated to the fullest extent of the law. Call us now to schedule your free consultation with one of our seasoned asbestos exposure attorneys.

Types of Mesothelioma

There are three types of mesothelioma that are more typically diagnosed:  pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma, all of which are further described as follows:

  • Pleural mesothelioma – pleural mesothelioma is the most common of the three types of the disease with nearly 2,500 new cases diagnosed per year. Specifically, pleural mesothelioma attacks the lining, or pleura, of the lungs, and accounts for roughly 80% of all mesothelioma cases. When an individual has been heavily exposed to asbestos over a long time period (i.e., has inhaled asbestos leading to asbestos fibers becoming embedded in the pleura), it can lead to chronic inflammation, scar tissue, and may ultimately cause tumors to form in the lungs.  Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include chest or lower back pain, a persistent cough, coughing up blood, trouble swallowing, shortness of breath, fluid buildup around the lungs, hoarseness, difficulty talking, and blood clots.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma – peritoneal mesothelioma is a rarer form of cancer, with about 500 new cases diagnosed per year in the United States. This type of mesothelioma affects the abdominal lining, or peritoneum, and accounts for approximately 20% of all mesothelioma cases.  Due to its location, peritoneal mesothelioma is sometimes referred to as abdominal mesothelioma. Researchers believe that after continuous and ongoing exposure to asbestos, the fibers first enter the lungs and then travel to the abdominal cavity via the lymphatic system.  Further theories posit that peritoneal mesothelioma can also develop in the event that asbestos is accidentally ingested due to regularly working with the substance.  Symptoms of this disease include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite and/or weight loss, weakness, fever, anemia, nausea and vomiting.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma – the least common type of mesothelioma, this disease develops in the lining, or pericardium, of the heart, and accounts for less than 50 cases diagnosed per year in the United States. Unlike pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, it is unclear as to how asbestos fibers reach the pericardium.  Often mimicking other diseases, pericardial mesothelioma causes the following symptoms:  cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, heart murmurs, fatigue, fluid buildup around the heart, swelling of the extremities, heart arrhythmias, a more prominent jugular vein, and accentuated variance in the pulse during respiration.

For all of the above forms of mesothelioma, symptoms of the disease can start anywhere between 10 and 50 years after exposure to asbestos and depends upon several factors, including the type and level of one’s exposure.

How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

As noted, detecting mesothelioma can be challenged due to the fact that it often mimics other, more common ailments.  In general, mesothelioma can be diagnosed as follows:

  • Imaging – imaging studies provide critical information that can help make or rule out the diagnosis of mesothelioma. These include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans.
  • Blood tests – there are three mesothelioma biomarkers (mesomark, osteopontin, and Fibulin-3) that may be detected by a simple blood test. While blood tests are not the only method for diagnosing mesothelioma, they can provide useful information and may be part of the mesothelioma diagnostic workup.
  • Biopsies – a biopsy is the single most reliable method for detecting mesothelioma. There are several different types of biopsies that depend upon the suspected location of the cancer.  For instance, if you are suspected of having peritoneal mesothelioma, a biopsy may be taken of your abdominal lining for further testing.  In general, your healthcare professional will be able to determine which type of biopsy is necessary depending on where he or she feels the disease may be located.

Were You Diagnosed with Mesothelioma?  Contact Stern Law, PLLC Today

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma or some other asbestos-related disease, we want to help. At Stern Law, PLLC, our seasoned and compassionate team of asbestos exposure attorneys will take the time you need to review your case, determine the sources of your exposure, and develop a plan of action to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.  Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 to schedule your free consultation with one of our seasoned mesothelioma attorneys.

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