Medical professionals begin diagnosis of mesothelioma by performing a complete evaluation of a patient’s medical history. This evaluation involves analyzing any of the patient’s symptoms, the patient’s history of asbestos exposure, and the results of a complete physical exam. Sometimes, medical professionals might request recent diagnostic imagery like MRI scans or X-rays of a patient’s abdomen, heart, or lungs to determine the location and size of any tumors.
In the case of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, fluid sometimes collects in a patient’s abdomen or chest area. Sometimes, doctors even use a fine needle to collect a sample of fluid from those areas for further testing. Despite the momentary discomfort experienced while this procedure is performed, many patients report temporary relief in the pain associated with the area as a result.
Some of the common procedures used by medical professionals to diagnose mesothelioma include the following:
- Biopsy: This process involves the surgical extraction of a tissue sample. If cancer is found in the sample, complex studies will be performed on the patient to determine the appropriate treatment.
- Peritoneoscopy: During this procedure, a medical professional will insert a small device into an opening made in the patient’s abdomen. If fluid is located, the abdomen will be drained with a needle through a procedure called paracentesis.
- Thoracoscopy: To diagnose mesothelioma, medical professionals sometimes use a special instrument called a thoracoscope to examine a patient’s chest. If fluid is found, it will be drained out of the chest cavity through a needle. This procedure is advantageous for several reasons including that it requires a much shorter recovery time than an open surgery biopsy.
No matter how you are diagnosed, it is critical that you undergo this process with the help of an experienced mesothelioma attorney. It is highly recommended that patients receive a second opinion in many situations to make certain that the proper diagnosis was given.Steps to Take Following a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be overwhelming, but there are some important steps that you should remember to take following a diagnosis. These steps include the following:
- Find a Mesothelioma Specialist: Many people are diagnosed by medical professionals who do not have the adequate experience to make sure that you receive adequate treatment for mesothelioma. You should seek out an experienced mesothelioma specialist who can make certain that you receive the best care possible.
- Understand your Treatment Options: It is critical to learn all that you can about the various available options to treat your mesothelioma. Understanding your various available options will help you understand why certain therapies work better than others and will help you mentally prepare for what is to come.
- Receive Adequate Support: Mesothelioma is a deadly condition without any known cure. Make sure you have a strong support team around you that can help you during this difficult time.
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