Mesothelioma is one of the most shocking diagnoses that a person can receive. The disease takes decades to mature, so knowing when victims were exposed to asbestos can be extremely difficult.
Most people are exposed on the job, so they know that they can look back and remember times when they were working in factories or locations where asbestos was common. Other people might have been exposed through cigarettes or through other means.
If there is any risk that you’ve been exposed to asbestos, then it’s a good idea to know the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. Normally, it does not begin to show signs until it has been developing for around three decades.
What are some common symptoms of mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma patients often have symptoms including:
- Pain under the rib cage
- Weight loss without a known cause
- Lumps, pain or swelling throughout the abdominal region
- Difficulty breathing
Mesothelioma and lung cancer share many of the same symptoms, so it’s important to go to your medical provider for a diagnosis as soon as possible. Malignant mesothelioma may not be identifiable until it is advanced, but earlier identification does give patients a chance at a better prognosis.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
Mesothelioma is diagnosed with the use of imaging tests or biopsies. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor may suggest treatment plans such as radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or others. With advanced stages of mesothelioma, most medical interventions are to help patients feel more comfortable. Early stages may be controlled, in some instances, with surgery or other types of cancer treatments.
Because the treatment for the disease is expensive and the diagnosis is life-altering, many victims of mesothelioma eventually seek the assistance of an attorney to help them pursue a claim for compensation.