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Why is mesothelioma misdiagnosed?

Because the symptoms of mesothelioma often resemble those of more common diseases, misdiagnosis occurs frequently in people who struggle with it.

answered by Gregory A. Cade

Misdiagnosis is very common among people who struggle with mesothelioma, which is why they need to seek a second and even third opinion from medical specialists

The symptoms of mesothelioma, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, a persisting cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing, are very similar to those of numerous other respiratory diseases, which is the reason why misdiagnosis occurs so frequently. Consequently, pleural mesothelioma may be mistaken for pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, asthma, COPD, or emphysema, whereas peritoneal mesothelioma can be wrongly diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or even ovarian cancer. Furthermore, pericardial mesothelioma may be misdiagnosed as pericardial thickening, heart disease, pericardial effusion, heart failure, or discreet pericardial mass. As for testicular mesothelioma, it may be incorrectly diagnosed as hernia or testicular cancer.

Since 30% of veterans receive a diagnosis as a consequence of military asbestos exposure, they are often misdiagnosed. While the medical professionals at the VA medical facilities have the chance to examine many veterans who struggle with diseases, which stem from asbestos exposure, misdiagnosis still occurs in numerous cases, as these diseases are challenging to correctly identify. For a precise and accurate diagnosis, the veteran needs to undergo multiple tests and exams, such as a chest X-ray, a CT scan, breathing tests, and blood tests. A biopsy may sometimes be necessary to determine whether the person suffers from mesothelioma or another pulmonary disease.

Nevertheless, biopsies are rarely necessary, as mesothelioma tumors appear very clearly on X-rays, as they develop on the outer lining of the lungs, in the case of pleural mesothelioma, which accounts for over 80% of cases. As for peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular mesothelioma, they can also be diagnosed in the absence of a biopsy. However, to ensure they receive a correct diagnosis, veterans are strongly encouraged to seek a second and even third opinion from medical specialists who have vast experience in diagnosing diseases, which occur as a result of asbestos exposure, as only they can assign a precise diagnosis.

Our law firm offers free of charge asbestos screenings to people with a history of asbestos exposure

If you are a former industrial worker or a veteran who served before 1980, we highly recommend you to come to our medical facility in Birmingham, Alabama, where our medical experts will evaluate your chest X-ray free of charge and assign you a correct diagnosis. Whether you currently have a diagnosis related to asbestos exposure or not, seeking a second opinion is always a good idea to make sure you have a precise diagnosis, as diseases, which stem from asbestos exposure are very difficult to identify. The medical specialists we collaborate with have extensive experience in diagnosing these diseases and will provide you with a free asbestos screening.

Recovering compensation for mesothelioma

In the unfortunate case, asbestos fibers are found in your lungs, our attorneys will help you file a claim with asbestos trust funds and, if you are a veteran, with the VA as well to recover the compensation you deserve for your injury. Having a correct diagnosis is of the utmost importance when it comes to applying for compensation, as the amount of money you are eligible for primarily depends on your disease. Thus, people who struggle with mesothelioma will receive the largest amount of money, as their disease is extremely severe and aggressive, whereas asbestos victims who suffer from non-malignant diseases will be entitled to a lower amount of compensation.

Our attorneys, who have been pursuing asbestos exposure cases for the last 30 years, will gladly assist you with filing a claim to obtain the financial compensation you qualify for. Although the legal process is very complex, your involvement will be minimal, as you will only have to provide our attorneys with your employment or military records, as well as with your medical records, which will subsequently be used as evidence of asbestos exposure and related diagnosis. Regardless of your diagnosis, our attorneys will gladly help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. It is important to keep in mind that asbestos exposure cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years in the majority of states, which should make taking legal action a priority for you. If the status of limitations expires, you will no longer be eligible for compensation.

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