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 of diagnosis of 72-years-old.
A mesothelioma diagnosis can take as long as 3 months. Before you know for sure, your mind will be racing with a lot of overwhelming things. The biggest thing you are dealing with right now is the stress of the uncertainty of it all. Here’s what to expect during the many steps of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
You may be experiencing some symptoms by the time you begin the testing phases of a mesothelioma diagnosis. The first symptoms will be similar to many other diseases and include breath, chest pain, and fatigue.
If you’ve had asbestos exposure, your doctor may be fairly certain that you have mesothelioma. Even so, you will still undergo multiple scans and tests to determine if you have it. This could include MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, blood tests, and more.
By the end of the first week or first round of testing, you may be taking antibiotics if you have an infection like pneumonia, as opposed to 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 months two and three of the testing process, you may have surgery. 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.
By the three-month mark, you will have those results back and know if you have mesothelioma.
Once you have been 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 are organizing this new phase of your life, contact a lawyer to help you organize this part. You’ll find a lot of your worries begin to ease when you do.