Most people’s knowledge of mesothelioma is limited to the fact that it is a rare, incurable form of cancer, for which the strongest known risk factor is environmental exposure to asbestos dust. Your primary care doctor probably has not thought about mesothelioma since they read a paragraph or two about it in a textbook in medical school, and it is possible that the oncologists at your local hospital have never treated a mesothelioma patient, despite the fact that all of their patients have some kind of cancer.
This means that if you get diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will be referred to mesothelioma specialists, and you might have to travel some distance to get to them. It also means that, as with many kinds of cancer, mesothelioma is a disease that you manage rather than trying to get it to where you are sure it will never come back; the goal of mesothelioma treatment is to relieve symptoms and to live as long and as healthy a life as possible. A Houma mesothelioma lawyer can help you focus on living your best life and providing for your family after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma Treatments are Advancing All the Time
The only way to make a clear diagnosis of mesothelioma, one that will enable your doctors to decide how to treat it, is through a tissue biopsy, which requires surgery. Doctors decide to perform this surgery when a chest X-ray or a CT scan of your abdomen or chest shows a tumor and when your blood tests show elevated levels of biomarkers such as mesothelin that could indicate mesothelioma. By the time most patients start showing symptoms and get these tests, the original mesothelioma tumor has usually grown large, and the cancer may have spread to other parts of the body.
Therefore, treatments focus not only on slowing the spread of the cancer but also on relieving symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath. The doctors may drain fluid from your chest or abdomen if fluid has built up there. They may also try to shrink the tumors through surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy to stop the tumors from interfering with the lungs or other organs.
Meanwhile, research on noninvasive cancer testing is always advancing. Researchers are studying biomarkers that could let your doctors know, through a blood test, that you are at high risk for mesothelioma, so that they can perform imaging tests (such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or PET scans) that would enable them to identify the cancer and begin treatment before it can cause debilitating disease. If you think you are at risk of developing mesothelioma because you were exposed to asbestos dust, even if the exposure was a long time ago, ask your doctor about mesothelioma testing options.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Life After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you find the resources to recover financial losses you suffered as a result of the asbestos exposure that caused you to develop mesothelioma. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.