Mesothelioma diagnostic testing can be a complicated and time-consuming process, but timely and accurate test results are essential for patients to receive the best mesothelioma cancer treatments and financial compensation from the companies that caused the grave illness.
Mesothelioma patients must have comprehensive imaging tests, biopsies and blood work completed for an exact diagnosis. Diagnostic testing is able to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis and reveal important details about the disease, including disease stage, location and cell types.
An accurate mesothelioma diagnosis is also necessary for eligibility for compensation from sources that include asbestos bankruptcy trust funds and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The path to a mesothelioma diagnosis can start with simple tests, such as a physician’s examination and blood tests. Often, however, mesothelioma is misdiagnosed as lung cancer or other heart, lung or abdominal diseases because mesothelioma is a rare cancer. Experts advise anyone who has been exposed to asbestos at any point in their life seek a mesothelioma specialist who can perform advanced testing. The key to effective treatment is an accurate and fast diagnosis.
For many patients, the process for a diagnosis is as follows:
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General oncologists may not consider mesothelioma as a possible diagnosis, so the patient or the patient’s family may need to suggest asbestos cancer due to occupational exposure. Oncologists who treat mesothelioma use a variety of tests to accurately identify the disease.
Asbestos cancer specialists perform a series of tests that can take several weeks to complete. During the tests, doctors must identify the cancer, classify the cell types involved and pinpoint the disease location, among other important steps. The following tests are typically performed in the quest for an accurate and complete diagnosis:
Of the many tests, biopsies are the single most important and accurate in a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis. For this test, tissue or fluid samples are removed and put under a microscope for review. Scientists look at cells and cell clusters to determine the type of cancer. There are several types of biopsies:
Imaging tests allow doctors to see internal organs without invasive procedures. The tests use various forms of energy, such as radioactive particles and electromagnetic waves, to form images. Doctors rely on various imaging tests for an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis, including the following:
Blood tests detect biomarkers that indicate normal or abnormal processes in the body. However, blood tests have limited value in a mesothelioma diagnosis. The most common blood tests for mesothelioma include:
The main reason for an accurate mesothelioma cancer diagnosis is twofold: treatment and financial assistance. Since mesothelioma progresses slowly inside the body, the initial signs of the disease may be easy to miss. Patients are often diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, making them ineligible for aggressive or curative treatments. Patients who are diagnosed in the earlier stages (Stages I, II and sometimes III) may receive medical treatment that can extend the patient’s life expectancy.
Patients and their families who hope to access funding from asbestos bankruptcy trust funds, legal settlements, trial verdicts or VA claims must have a documented mesothelioma diagnosis from a certified physician. The various forms of financial assistance can be used to pay for medical bills and living expenses.
Mesothelioma patients and their family members have a right to financial assistance from asbestos bankruptcy trusts. Negligent asbestos companies established the trusts under court order as a way to ensure victims and their families had necessary financial resources.
About $32 billion is being held in trust for people injured by asbestos. We have helped scores of asbestos cancer victims get the financial assistance they are owed.
Compensation from an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund can begin immediately after a mesothelioma diagnosis, but the compensation amount depends on a number of factors. Contact us now for more information about qualifying for trust fund compensation.
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