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Misdiagnosis, a very common occurrence among victims of asbestos exposure

Every year, between 12,000 and 15,000 people lose their lives to diseases caused by asbestos exposure in the United States, which highlights the rareness of these afflictions.

Because asbestos exposure affects such a small number of people, it should come as no surprise that misdiagnosis is so common among victims of asbestos exposure.

Two of the most frequently encountered diseases asbestos exposure is responsible for are mesothelioma and lung cancer. Annually, there are 3,000 mesothelioma diagnoses throughout the country, whereas 4,800 people receive a diagnosis of lung cancer related to asbestos exposure.

As a consequence, even medical specialists have a difficult time correctly diagnosing people who have a history of asbestos exposure. There are numerous factors that contribute to the challenge of assigning the right diagnosis upon the first appointment to a person who was exposed to asbestos, such as:

  • the similarities between the symptoms of the diseases asbestos exposure can result in
  • the fact that the majority of diseases caused by asbestos develop in the lungs
  • the scarcity of medical literature documenting the diseases that stem from asbestos exposure
  • the lack of experience of most medical professionals when it comes to identifying the occurring disease caused by asbestos exposure in a patient

For this reason, we cannot stress enough how important it is for victims of asbestos exposure to seek a second and even a third opinion from different medical specialists, as this is, unfortunately, the only way they can eventually receive the correct diagnosis. Having a wrong diagnosis will not only affect the effectiveness of the treatment you will receive, but also the amount of compensation you can recover after you file a claim.

It is essential to know that two of the most common symptoms of pulmonary diseases caused by asbestos exposure are a persistent cough and shortness of breath. Consequently, if you have a history of asbestos exposure and experience these symptoms, which are the early signs of lung disease, you need to visit a medical professional immediately so that they can properly evaluate you. You should not postpone your medical appointment, as receiving a timely diagnosis plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of the treatment. The sooner your lung disease is diagnosed, the more favorable your prognosis will be.

The medical tests and exams you have to request if you were exposed to asbestos

Informing your doctor that you were exposed to asbestos is very important, as, this way, they will know what tests and exams to order for you in order to thoroughly evaluate your lungs. However, if they do not order the following tests and exams for you, you will have to request them, as they are the most accurate when it comes to assessing the damage asbestos fibers have caused to your lungs. If you intend to file a claim for asbestos toxic exposure, our expert team, as well as your attorney, will need the results of these tests and exams, which is another important reason why you should request them.

  • a chest X-ray: this simple test will allow your doctor to see whether there are asbestos fibers in your lungs and, if there are, they will also be able to assess the damage they have caused to your lung tissue
  • pulmonary function tests: as a series of tests meant to evaluate aspects such as how much oxygen you can absorb through your lungs and your ability to breathe, pulmonary function tests are another reliable diagnostic tool in examining a person who was exposed to asbestos
  • CT or MRI scan: if your chest X-ray shows lung scarring, pleural plaques, or lung nodules, your doctor will order a CT or MRI scan, which are imaging tests that are considerably more accurate than a chest X-ray, by virtue of which they will be able to see the damage caused to your lungs by asbestos in greater detail

In the regrettable event that you receive a diagnosis as a victim of asbestos exposure, we strongly encourage you to contact the expert team at Atraxia Law, which will thoroughly evaluate your situation and eventually let you know whether you are eligible for filing a claim. If you are, we will promptly guide you to a lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases so that you can recover the money you deserve for your injury from the liable companies.

Lastly, it is important to know that, if you decide to file a claim for asbestos exposure, you must have a clear diagnosis, as otherwise, you will not be eligible for compensation. Regardless of the lung disease you have, Atraxia Law will help you find out whether you qualify for seeking financial compensation.

File your asbestos claim with the assistance of Atraxia Law

With over 35 years of experience in assessing claims, our team of professionals is ready to help you if your health was affected by asbestos exposure. Former industrial workers and veterans are our main clients, but we also help surviving family members recover financial compensation on their behalf. Contact our experts, send in your employment or military records, as well as your medical records, and wait for our team to evaluate your case.