Helpful Insight Regarding the Process, Your Options and More
Whether you have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma, are currently undergoing testing to determine whether you have this form of cancer or are simply looking for more information on this subject, you will find useful insight in this section of our website. You can learn more about how mesothelioma is diagnosed and what you should do if you are diagnosed. We also recommend that you contact our law office at your earliest convenience to talk about the legal options that may be available to you. After a diagnosis of this kind, the last thing you should have to worry about is how you will pay for your medical care. You may be entitled to compensation; a mesothelioma lawyer at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC can provide you with detailed information.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
The process generally begins when a patient seeks medical care, usually from his or her primary care physician, because he or she is suffering from such symptoms as chest or abdominal pain, difficulty breathing or a chronic cough. The doctor will take three initial steps toward a diagnosis by:
Reviewing the patient’s medical history – in addition to reviewing medical records, the doctor may talk to the patient about any family history of cancer or respiratory problems and whether the patient smokes. The doctor may also ask about whether the patient or any close family member of the patient worked with or was exposed to asbestos at some point, even if exposure occurred many years ago.
Understanding the patient’s complaints – the doctor should take the time to talk to the patient about the pain or other symptoms he or she is experiencing. This will give the doctor a better idea of what the problem may be and what areas to focus on during a physical exam.
Conducting a physical examination – during an exam, the doctor will check for signs of pleural effusion or pleural mass, certain areas of pain or tenderness, breathing sounds and reduced chest expansion. The doctor may even be able to find protruding tumors in this exam.
If the doctor suspects mesothelioma, additional tests will need to be ordered to confirm his or her theory. Imaging tests may be the first step to determining whether the patient has pleural, peritoneal or pericardial mesothelioma. The doctor may order a CT scan, MRI, PET scan or X-ray to look at the lungs, heart or abdomen. If masses are found, a biopsy may be performed. During a biopsy, tissue or fluid samples are collected and analyzed for the presence of cancer cells. Depending on the case, the primary care physician may refer the patient to an oncologist who specializes in mesothelioma during or after the testing process.
What should I do if I’m diagnosed with mesothelioma?
If you underwent testing and your doctor diagnosed you with mesothelioma, it is important to consider getting a second opinion. You may wish to seek out a specialist who has considerable experience in dealing with mesothelioma in particular, as this individual may offer better insight and more treatment options related to your condition. From there, your doctor and/or the specialist may work out a thorough treatment plan based upon the severity of your condition, your age and your overall health. You may even be able to look into participating in clinical trials. Because mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer, the steps you take immediately after your diagnosis are important ones. Make sure you take your personal preferences and goals into account when seeking medical care from a particular oncologist or medical facility.
Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney
A mesothelioma diagnosis is one of the worst pieces of news that a person can get. Our attorneys realize just how difficult it can be to deal with this form of cancer, not only physically and emotionally but from a financial standpoint as well. Our mission is to help our clients seek the best possible medical care. Whether it is through standard medical treatment or clinical trials or a combination of these, we want to see our clients have the most time with their loved ones. Securing monetary damages in a mesothelioma lawsuit can cover medical expenses as well as other losses and injuries, such as physical and emotional trauma and lost earnings.
With more than 150 years of collective legal experience and widely recognized as one of the best plaintiffs’ firms in New York and the entire U.S., Napoli Shkolnik stands ready to help you. We have recovered more than $3 billion for our clients since 2000 alone – contact a mesothelioma lawyer at our firm to find out how we can help.