For those who have worked in industrial settings or in areas where they may have been exposed to asbestos, it is crucial to understand the warning signs of mesothelioma. However, we do need to point out the importance of not relying on a self-diagnosis. You need to contact a skilled medical professional who can help you through this process. You should be evaluated by a trusted and qualified medical professional if you suspect you may have mesothelioma or if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.
Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For
It is crucial to point out that only a specialist with experience handling mesothelioma can properly diagnose this disease. Oncologists (cancer specialists) are very good at their jobs but typically do not have specialized training with mesothelioma. Often, mesothelioma is confused with lung cancer because both diseases have similar sets of symptoms, especially in the early stages.
Some of the early warning signs of mesothelioma include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing that will not go away
- Blood inside mucus coughed up from lungs
- General fatigue
- Swelling in the face or neck veins
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
- Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
Again, many of these symptoms are also symptoms of lung cancer and other types of diseases. Regardless of what type of disease you think you may have, we strongly encourage you to get checked out by your family physician first and then specialists you are referred to from your physician.
There are various tests that can help confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis, including:
- X rays
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed tomography (CT/CAT scan)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Bone scans
Other tests that can help confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis include biopsies and blood tests. Often, cells from the lungs will be taken and examined under a microscope. How these cells behave will help tell doctors what type of cancer a person may have.
In addition to looking at individual cells, doctors may look at the tumors themselves, particularly how they are arranged. Scattered, tumor-like nodules that form a sheath around the lung or other organs signify mesothelioma. Regular lung cancer tumors behave completely differently than mesothelioma tumors.
There are various options for treatment when it comes to a mesothelioma diagnosis. Some of these options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Palliative treatments
We strongly suggest that you seek multiple opinions when it comes to diagnosing mesothelioma and lung cancer. Whenever a history of asbestos is involved, you want to be sure that your diagnosis is correct so that you have the best chance at recovering from this disease.
Working With an Attorney
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you think that this disease was caused by exposure to asbestos in your home or workplace, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. A mesothelioma lawyer in Chicago can examine the facts of your case and help determine whether or not you may be entitled to compensation from another individual, company, or entity. We know that mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, and it is not uncommon for the signs and symptoms of this disease to show up decades after a person has been exposed. Our team of Chicago personal injury lawyers will work diligently to help you determine where the asbestos exposure occurred so we can recover any compensation you may be entitled to.