The Stages of Asbestos Cancer
The first thing your doctor will want to determine after a mesothelioma
diagnosis is what stage the cancer is at.
Staging is a process that doctors use to determine how far the cancer has spread
and how aggressive it is. Staging is important not only as a means to
inform the patient, but to come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
The stage of the cancer will determine how the body will respond to various
CT and MRI Scans for Mesothelioma Staging
CT scans and MRI scans are often used to determine if and how much the cancer has
spread. Because the latency period for mesothelioma is so long (sometime
up to 40 years), many patients do not discover that they have mesothelioma
until it is in its later stages. This is why regular cancer screenings
are so important, especially for people who believe they may have been
exposed to the carcinogenic substance asbestos.
There is a test called a “mediastinoscopy” that can help doctors
determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. This type of test
involves using an illuminated instrument called a scope and inserting
it into the center of the chest (mediastinum) to view the lymph nodes.
From there, the doctor will be able to tell whether the cancer has spread
to this area. The difference between a mediastinoscopy and a mediastinotomy
is that the former is inserted through an incision in the patient’s
neck while the latter is inserted through the chest. Both procedures use
a scope to procure a tissue sample for testing.
Were you or a loved one diagnosed with mesothelioma? We invite you to contact
Worthington & Caron today for a review of
your legal rights and options. Our motto is “asbestos lawyers for life” so let
us help you in the fight for justice, for hope, and for life.