Diagnosed With Mesothelioma? Here Are Your Next Steps
June 19, 2023
Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis can be a life-altering event for you and your family. If you have been diagnosed with this rare but serious type of cancer, you need to know what steps to take to protect your health and explore your legal options for compensation.
Our mesothelioma attorneys at Jim Crabtree Law help people diagnosed with this type of cancer take the necessary steps to ensure that they receive the best possible treatment and care and get fair compensation for their expenses, losses, and suffering.
With an office in Overland Park, Kansas, we serve people diagnosed with mesothelioma throughout the KC Metro areas of Kansas and Missouri. If you are not sure how an attorney can help, you can contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation and discuss your particular case.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs, stomach, and heart.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
The disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, which was widely used in the construction of buildings before the year 2000. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the body’s tissues and cause damage over time. Symptoms of mesothelioma may not manifest themselves until decades after exposure to asbestos, which is why the disease is often not diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage.
Who Is Most at Risk?
Individuals who have worked in industries that involve asbestos are most at risk for developing mesothelioma. This includes construction workers, shipbuilders, plumbers, electricians, and mechanics, among others. Family members of those who have worked with asbestos may also be at risk for secondhand exposure. It is important to note that even small amounts of asbestos exposure can be dangerous and lead to the development of mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of mesothelioma depend on the location of the cancer:
Pleural mesothelioma, which forms in the tissue covering your lungs and chest wall, has the following symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, painful coughing, unexplained weight loss, and lumps of tissue under the skin in the chest area.
Peritoneal mesothelioma, which forms in the tissue in the abdomen, has the following symptoms: nausea, swelling in the abdomen, pain in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, see a doctor immediately.
How Is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Diagnosing mesothelioma is not easy, as symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain can be mistaken for a variety of other conditions. A doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and order X-rays or a CT scan to look for signs of mesothelioma. A biopsy may also be required to confirm a diagnosis. It is critical that you see a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms, as early detection can lead to better treatment outcomes.
What to Do After Receiving a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need to know what steps to take next:
1. Consider Getting a Second Opinion
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer. For this reason, you might need to consider getting a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist to ensure that your diagnosis is accurate. A mesothelioma specialist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of mesothelioma and has experience in diagnosing and treating this type of cancer. Getting a second opinion can help you better understand the extent of your cancer, the stage of your cancer, and the options available for treatment.
2. Educate Yourself on the Disease
Once you have received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need to educate yourself about the disease. Understanding mesothelioma and the treatment options available can help you make informed decisions about your care. There is a wealth of information available online, and you should take advantage of this to help you understand the disease, its causes, and its treatment options. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have with your healthcare provider.
3. Find a Competent Mesothelioma Doctor for Proper Treatment
Finding a competent mesothelioma doctor is essential for proper treatment of the disease. Mesothelioma is a complex disease, and treatment options can vary widely depending on the stage and severity of your cancer. You need a doctor who has experience in treating mesothelioma and who can provide you with the best possible care.
4. Consider Getting Emotional and Social Support
Mesothelioma can be a stressful and emotional experience for you and your loved ones. Consider getting emotional and social support from family members, friends, and support groups. Support groups can offer a safe and compassionate environment for you to discuss your feelings and experiences with others who are going through a similar situation. Your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with information about support groups in your area.
5. Prepare for Treatment
Once you have received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need to start preparing yourself for treatment. This may include making arrangements for transportation to and from appointments, preparing your home for your recovery, and discussing any concerns you may have with your doctor.
6. Talk to an Attorney to Explore Your Options for Compensation
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in the workplace or other situations, you may be entitled to compensation. Talking to an attorney who focuses on mesothelioma lawsuits can help you explore your options for compensation. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights, file a lawsuit, and negotiate a settlement if appropriate. You can schedule a free consultation with our mesothelioma attorney at Jim Crabtree Law to discuss your case.
Filing a Claim
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to explore your options for compensation. Many companies were aware of the asbestos-related risks for decades but did not inform their employees and failed to take necessary safety precautions. As a result, people who have been exposed to asbestos may be eligible for compensation through asbestos trusts or through a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Consult an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal process and protect your rights. You should also know that there is a limited amount of time for filing a mesothelioma claim. The deadline for filing varies from one state to another. In Kansas, people diagnosed with mesothelioma have two years from the date of diagnosis to take legal action.
Understand Your Rights & Options
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be overwhelming and difficult to process. If you have received a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is imperative that you understand your rights and explore your legal options for compensation. Our attorneys at Jim Crabtree Law help people diagnosed with mesothelioma get justice and pursue the compensation they deserve. We can review your case during a free consultation and advise you on your best course of action.