Saturday, August 30, 2008


Diagnosis of any form of mesothelioma is difficult. Since one need not be exposed to large amounts of asbestos to develop the disease decades later, many don’t know they were ever at risk. Even if one is aware of their own history of asbestos exposure and the dangers involved, the long latency period of mesothelioma, coupled with the fact that most symptoms of the disease are similar to those of other diseases, make a positive diagnosis difficult. Despite the difficulties of diagnosis and the rarity of mesothelioma, accurately detecting the disease is possible through a variety of tests.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms of peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to begin preliminary testing and examinations. Typically your doctor will first determine abnormalities by performing a physical examination, examining medical history, and learning if you have a history of asbestos exposure. It’s important to note that a doctor may not initially suspect mesothelioma, as it is a very rare disease. If you have a history of potential asbestos exposure, it is helpful to inform your physician.

The first step in mesothelioma diagnosis will involve your doctor listening to your breathing to determine if there are any abnormalities. He or she will also look for any swelling or lumps on the chest or stomach area. Further testing will be performed if it is determined that you are experiencing breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, or chest pain.