In Pennsylvania and around the country, mesothelioma is a rare enough disease that it is somewhat difficult to diagnose. Thus, the question is if the actual count of patients who are diagnosed with the condition is accurate. This is compounded by the fact that physicians often misdiagnose mesothelioma and mistake it for other conditions. This could lead to an undercount or even an overcount of cases.
Asbestos usage in the United States was largely phased out in the 1970s as reports of its harmful effects proliferated. Nevertheless, the amount of cases being diagnosed today remains steady. Patients are still contracting the disease decades after their exposure because asbestos particles remain in the lungs and body. Conceivably, there should be a decline in the number of newly diagnosed cases if many people who have been exposed have already died.
The lack of a change could also be because doctors are misdiagnosing mesothelioma as lung cancer. This will lead patients to receive the wrong kind of treatment. Mesothelioma is almost always fatal, but a misdiagnosed disease will mean that the patient has less time remaining because the proper treatment can at least prolong their lives somewhat. Treatment for mesothelioma in the U.S. has improved to the point where at least the life expectancy for those with the disease has increased a little provided that they receive the right kind of therapy.
Those who have been diagnosed with a form of mesothelioma have legal rights and may be eligible for substantial financial compensation. These cases almost always result in a settlement for the plaintiff given the fact that asbestos exposure in unmistakable and the disease is almost always fatal. Nonetheless, legal counsel is a necessity because the lawyer may help their client negotiate a settlement and could take the case to a trial in court if the offer is inadequate.