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Early detection of mesothelioma

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"I know I was exposed to asbestos decades ago. Is there any way to start testing early for mesothelioma?"

Occupational asbestos exposure was very common in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. It wasn't until the 1970s that strict regulations were put in place that limited asbestos use in the United States.

Still today, many people are exposed to asbestos at work. Asbestos is not illegal in the U.S., and is still used in many industries.

People who know they were exposed to asbestos at work recently or decades ago may be concerned about the possibility of developing mesothelioma. This can be a significant cause of stress and worry for individuals and family members.

Mesothelioma can take decades to develop. Naturally, many people who were exposed to asbestos years ago want to stay ahead of a potential diagnosis.

It is important to remember that not everyone who was exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. This is a rare form of cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, some doctors may recommend chest x-rays, CT scans, and other tests that may indicate early changes to the lungs that may be indicative of mesothelioma.

There are certain substances that are commonly present in individuals with mesothelioma, such as osteopontin and soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs). The American Cancer Society states that in the future, blood tests to test for these substances may be routinely administered in individuals who have experienced asbestos exposure.

Individuals at risk for mesothelioma should be on the lookout for symptoms of pleural mesothelioma:

  • Chest or lower back pain
  • Cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Problems swallowing
  • Fever
  • Facial swelling
  • Swelling of the arms

Although pleural mesothelioma, which affects the outer lining of the lungs, is most common, mesothelioma can affect other areas of the body as well.

If you were exposed to asbestos on the job recently or years ago, it is important to let your doctor know. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more effective treatment may be.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and wish to speak to an attorney about your legal options, call Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC, at 866-594-8765.

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