Have You or a Loved One Had a Mesothelioma Misdiagnosis?
Mesothelioma diagnosis errors are estimated to cause over 500 deaths every year.
If you or a family member has suffered because of a doctor’s improper or missed diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may be able to recover your past and future medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for your pain and suffering, diminished quality of life or reduced lifespan, disability, and more. Please contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today to speak with a mesothelioma misdiagnosis attorney or call us at [phone-number]. We have offices conveniently located in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia, and Carbondale, PA.
A layer of specialized cells – known as mesothelial cells – lines the inside of the chest, abdomen, heart and the other surfaces of most of our internal organs. Mesothelium, the lining formed by the cells, generates a lubricating fluid that allows our internal organs to move.
There are two main types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma – This type forms in the chest cavity. About three out of every four mesothelioma cases involve this area of the body.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – The cancer originates in the abdominal cavity
Rare cases involve the lining around the heart (pericardial mesothelioma) or testicles (mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis).
This illness is also grouped by how the cancer cells are arranged. These groups are:
- Epithelioid – 50 to 60 percent of cases and generally a better prognosis of recovery and survival.
- Sarcomatoid – 10 to 20 percent of cases and more fibrous in nature.
- Mixed biphasic – 30 to 40 percent of cases, exhibiting characteristics of epithelioid and sarcomatoid conditions.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers is the leading risk factor for mesothelioma. Asbestos is a naturally occurring group of minerals resistant to heat and fire. For decades, it was widely used in industrial, manufacturing and construction applications. However, once the dangers of asbestos exposure became known, its use in the U.S. essentially stopped in the late 1980s.
Millions of workers in certain industries are at a heightened risk of having been exposed to asbestos, including those in industries such as:
- Heavy manufacturing
- Insulation manufacturing
- Automotive manufacturing.
Family members are also at risk for asbestos exposure due to the asbestos fibers on a family member’s work clothing.
Missed, Incorrect or Delayed Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Time is paramount in treating mesothelioma. It is important not to waste time on treating the wrong disease. Physicians can misdiagnose mesothelioma for a number of reasons. For example, early symptoms are typically mild and easily confused with more common ailments and diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema or tuberculosis. A doctor might mistakenly believe symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, high fever, and night sweats are caused by an infection. Because mesothelioma usually takes years to develop, symptoms in a younger person may be confused with other illnesses. Other potential missteps by medical professionals include the failure to:
- Consider occupational risks of a patient for exposure to asbestos
- Refer a patient to a specialist
- Order lab tests, imaging tests or blood tests
- Notice lesions on an imaging test
- Follow up on abnormalities noted on an imaging test
- Order a biopsy.
Other mistakes that can lead to a missed or delayed diagnosis of mesothelioma include:
- Improperly performed biopsy
- No follow up on a biopsy that was negative
- Radiologist’s failure to clearly or accurately report noted findings to primary care physician
- Lab error related to biopsy
- Failure to accurately read the results of test or biopsy report, or take appropriate steps when a report reveals an abnormality
- Failure to recommend a follow-up appointment within an appropriate time period.
Surgery for treating mesothelioma is an option for Stages I-III of the disease, depending on how far a tumor has grown into nearby tissues, the type of mesothelioma, where it is located, and if a patient is healthy enough to have surgery. Surgery is often combined with radiation or chemotherapy to make sure all cancer cells not surgically removed are killed.
You Need An Expert Mesothelioma Misdiagnosis Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered from a mesothelioma misdiagnosis, late diagnosis or an false mesothelioma diagnosis, you need to speak to a lawyer today. An experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can help you evaluate your claim and advise you about the best course of legal action. The family of lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are experienced and successful medical malpractice litigators — we fight to protect the rights of patients. Let us concentrate on your legal case while you concentrate on your health. Our qualified cancer misdiagnosis attorneys are prepared to thoroughly examine your case to determine the best way to help you and your family. Please contact us at [phone-number] or fill out our online contact form.
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