Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. When the human body is exposed to asbestos, tiny fibers are breathed into the system and stick to the membranes of the tissues surrounding the organs. Because of that, asbestos fibers can sometimes cause the kind of cancer we call mesothelioma. Mesothelioma impacts approximately 3,000 Americans annually and has an average age diagnosis of 72 years old.
A mesothelioma diagnosis can take as long as 3 months. Before you know it, your mind will be racing with many overwhelming things. The biggest thing you are dealing with right now is uncertainty. Here’s what to expect during the many steps of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Initial Testing – The First Two Months
You may be experiencing some symptoms by the time you begin the testing phases of a mesothelioma diagnosis. The first symptoms resemble many other diseases, including breath, chest pain, and fatigue.
If you’ve had asbestos exposure, your doctor may be certain you have mesothelioma. You will still undergo multiple scans and tests to determine if you have it. This could include MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, and blood tests.
By the end of the first week or first round of testing, you may take antibiotics if you have an infection like pneumonia instead of mesothelioma.
When you reach the two-month mark with this illness, you will know if your sickness will continue. If it is pneumonia, you may start to feel better by now, but not always. Another round of X-rays and scans will be ordered to see if any problems have progressed.
You may have your first surgery consult before the first two months of a mesothelioma diagnosis is over.
Between Month Two and Three — The Mesothelioma Diagnosis
You may have surgery between months two and three of the testing process. This surgery will be a biopsy to determine if you have any cancer cells in your body in the areas you are experiencing.
This surgery occurs with general anesthesia, and a sample of cells from between your ribs will be extracted and tested. You will be in the hospital for a few days recovering from surgery but may not get the biopsy results for up to two weeks.
You will have those results by the three-month mark and know if you have mesothelioma.
Contact an Expert for Help
Once diagnosed, you will be overwhelmed with fear of the future and worry about every area of your life. Start planning now. Mesothelioma claims in the United States are widespread. That is because you did not choose to become exposed to asbestos. One thing that may help you worry less about the future is a top-rated firm that deals specifically with these kinds of claims. As you organize this new phase of your life, contact a lawyer to help you manage this part. You’ll find many of your worries begin to ease when you do.