Early Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
An early diagnosis of mesothelioma gives doctors the best chance to effectively treat the illness. Yet, the unique display of mesothelioma symptoms makes early diagnosis difficult.
Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. However, most cases of mesothelioma cancer begin presenting symptoms decades after the exposure that caused the illness, which works against an early diagnosis of mesothelioma. This latency period – the time between the asbestos exposure and first symptoms – averages 28 years for peritoneal mesothelioma and 35 years for pleural mesothelioma. In some cases, a mesothelioma diagnosis may not occur for up to 50 years following exposure.
Another key to the early diagnosis of mesothelioma is recognizing whether or not dangerous asbestos levels are present in an area you live or work. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a number of accredited laboratories through the National Institute for Standards and Technology and the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation program that can test for asbestos. If a dangerous level of exposure has occurred, having your health monitored by a doctor may help you obtain an early diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Early Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: Prognoses
The mesothelioma prognosis of a patient may help determine the best possible treatment options following an early diagnosis of mesothelioma. Older patients are more likely to be in a more advanced stage of the disease and may not tolerate some treatment regimens as well as younger patients. For these reasons, doctors usually have a better prognosis, and a longer life expectancy, for younger patents and those who received an early diagnosis of mesothelioma.
The levels of asbestos that a patient was exposed to can also affect the mesothelioma risk and the length of any latency period. Workers who regularly inhaled asbestos fibers usually show symptoms sooner and have a shorter latency period than those with intermittent exposure.
While the early diagnosis of mesothelioma is difficult, doctors have evolved their techniques to make it more possible. In recent years doctors have found that mesothelioma patients often have higher levels of osteopontin and soluble mesothin - related peptides in the blood. Testing for these peptides could help doctors to achieve an early diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
If you or a loved one are battling mesothelioma, you may want to explore your legal options. Get all the mesothelioma facts you need by contacting an experienced mesothelioma attorney.