When it comes to mesothelioma, you might think you know all there is to know, but that’s far from the truth. There are several things you should be aware of when it comes to this form of cancer, including where it comes from and how it’s diagnosed and treated. Learn more about mesothelioma, including where the disease comes from and how it’s diagnosed and treated, by reading the following article on mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Since mesothelioma often develops over a long period of time, many people are only diagnosed after the cancer has spread beyond their lungs. Signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, pain in your chest or abdomen, coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm), weakness, and weight loss. But because mesothelioma symptoms vary depending on how quickly it progresses and where it spreads, you should see your doctor right away if you notice any persistent issues. In some cases, doctors find evidence of mesothelioma before symptoms occur by using imaging techniques like CT scans or MRIs; unfortunately there’s no one test that can definitively diagnose mesothelioma. Your doctor will probably also order a biopsy, which involves removing cells from suspicious areas for testing. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos at work or home—or have an immediate family member who was—talk with your doctor about being tested for mesothelioma.
The FDA-Approved Treatment for Mesothelioma: Asbestos exposure is considered one of the biggest risk factors for developing malignant pleural mesothelioma—and since there’s no cure yet, treatment is focused on controlling its progression and relieving symptoms. Doctors may recommend surgery or radiation therapy to remove as much of the cancer as possible; chemotherapy can also be used to slow tumor growth. In some cases, doctors will prescribe an immunotherapy drug called pemetrexed (Alimta) along with a combination of other medications. But even if you’re diagnosed early enough that your disease hasn’t spread beyond your lungs, it still has a high chance of recurring later in life; among those with localized mesothelioma, approximately 20% die within five years of diagnosis.
Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose early on, because its initial symptoms can easily be mistaken for other conditions. Typically, mesothelioma isn’t diagnosed until it reaches an advanced stage and more symptomatic. If you have any of these symptoms and have been exposed to asbestos at some point in your life, it’s important that you visit a doctor as soon as possible. The earlier a doctor can make a diagnosis, the better treatment options will be available—not only for you but also for others who may develop mesothelioma later on down the road. At-risk individuals should also look into mesothelioma insurance in case they do develop an asbestos-related disease like pleural plaques or lung cancer.
This type of coverage protects patients from high medical bills and lost wages if they are unable to work due to their illness. However, don’t delay seeking out legal advice from a mesothelioma attorney if you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos. Time is always of the essence when it comes to lawsuits related to illnesses caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals or toxic substances. With proper guidance from legal counsel, however, victims can seek compensation for damages related not only physical injuries but also emotional distress and pain caused by negligence and wrongdoing.
Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
The prognosis for someone diagnosed with mesothelioma depends on a variety of factors, including how advanced their cancer is, whether they have other health conditions and their genetic profile. Treatment options include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Those with mesothelioma may also benefit from research trials. In addition, you can fight your disease by filing a claim against asbestos companies and manufacturers. Finding an experienced mesothelioma lawyer could help you do that. an attorney will investigate any evidence of negligence on behalf of asbestos companies or manufacturers who might be at fault for your illness.
If you qualify for compensation, your lawyer will file a lawsuit in court and represent you throughout litigation. Most people with mesothelioma are eligible to receive compensation through these lawsuits because many companies were aware of asbestos’ dangers but continued using it anyway. Mesothelioma lawyers work on contingency, which means they don’t get paid unless you win your case. So there’s no risk in hiring one—and all the more reason to do so as soon as possible after being diagnosed.
Life expectancy with treatment
Despite its aggressive nature, mesothelioma has a surprisingly high life expectancy rate with treatment. According to research conducted by one university in California, an average of 58 percent of mesothelioma patients can expect five years or more of survival from their initial diagnosis. With such promising survival rates, it’s important for mesothelioma patients to know how to get mesothelioma insurance if they are diagnosed with cancer. Insurance for doctors is tricky; people rarely insure against their own eventual medical costs and you might wonder why anyone would need coverage just for a doctor visit or surgery? The answer is simple—you never know what will happen until you need it. If you have children, then you probably have some sort of health insurance through your employer.
But what happens if something happens to your spouse and he or she isn’t covered under your plan? Or worse yet, what happens when you retire and lose access to that employer-sponsored health care coverage? If there are no other options available (such as Medicare), then having some form of supplemental health care insurance is extremely valuable. That’s where mesothelioma insurance comes into play. Mesothelioma insurance provides additional protection for those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, allowing them to focus on getting better instead of worrying about financial issues like paying off massive hospital bills.