Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer that attacks tissues lining the lungs, heart or abdomen. Most people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives. Why is it so difficult to diagnose? Here are three major reasons that can help individuals and families understand why.
Even though thousands of people are diagnosed each year, mesothelioma is still a rare form of cancer. Due to its rarity, many doctors are not familiar with the symptoms, which can lead to a misdiagnosis.
- Long latency period
After inhaling inhale asbestos fibers, it takes many years for cancer to appear. Most people do not develop mesothelioma until they are in their 70s, but it can occur at a much younger age depending on your circumstances.
- Common symptoms
Mesothelioma symptoms usually mimic other diseases and illnesses. In some cases, the symptoms are the same with some common minor problems. In the early stages, mesothelioma symptoms are almost the same with those associated with pneumonia. To determine the real cause, further investigation has must be done.
Typical symptoms include:
- Dry cough
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Respiratory complications
If you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms or a combination of them, has your doctor ruled out mesothelioma? If you have a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may be eligible for a personal injury claim, but you must seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you believe you were exposed to asbestos at some point in your life, do not wait.
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