Having helped Wisconsin asbestos victims and their families obtain awards exceeding $21,000,000.00, one thing we have learned is that mesothelioma is not easily diagnosed, especially in early stages.   Typically, once asbestos mesothelioma has been diagnosed, patients frequently explain that the symptoms had been ongoing many months.  The purpose of this blog post is to help Wisconsin asbestos victims get immediate medical attention for symptoms of mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma of chest) has symptoms that include low back ache, chest pain under arms, swelling in the face or arms, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, coughs, fevers, fatigue, weight loss,  and weakness.  If you have any combination of these mesothelioma symptoms visit a health care professional as soon as possible and let your doctor know whether you ever had exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer often includes pleural effusion (fluid in lungs), ascites (fluid in abdomen) with peritoneal mesothelioma, or pericardial effusion (fluid in pericardium) in cases of pericardial mesothelioma.  Tests like x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and PET scans, also help to diagnosis mesothelioma.

Radiological tests may reveal irregular thickening of pleura, calcium deposits or fluid in pleural space.  Tests also allow the physician to stage any cancer.  These may also include sampling fluids and tissue samples, which can taken with  thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, mediastinoscopy or bronchoscopy, or sometimes surgery, thoracotomy or laparotomy.

In many cases, mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose and in all cases, we highly recommend a biopsy.  In case of death, we recommend an autopsy especially if a biopsy was not done after recognition of the symptoms mesothelioma.