Mesothelioma's diagnosis can take time: Learn more

Mesothelioma is a dangerous and progressive disease. It is an asbestos-related disease typically caused by exposure to asbestos over time.

This disease is difficult to diagnose, which is part of why it's so hard to treat. Without being able to diagnose it early on, those with mesothelioma often suffer with the symptoms and side effects of the disease until the eventual diagnosis.

By the time mesothelioma is diagnosed, the patient may have worsened significantly and be beyond the point where treatment will help. If this sounds like your case, you're not alone.

How can you get a mesothelioma diagnosis?

To get the appropriate diagnosis, you need to have several tests. These may include:

  • A chest X-ray
  • Computer tomography scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging scans
  • Pulmonary function exams

Each one of these is designed to identify problems in the lungs and abdomen. If there is a problem seen on these tests, a biopsy may be used to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma.

What kinds of treatments are available once you're diagnosed?

It depends on the diagnosis and how far the cancer has spread. Early on, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy or clinical trials. If the disease has progressed significantly, the primary treatment may be to provide support to keep the patient comfortable until they pass.

No two cases of mesothelioma are exactly the same, so it is worth getting more than one opinion from your medical providers and to look into the options that might be available for treatment. Our site has more on this dangerous disease and how it may affect you.

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