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Patients may have alternative option for mesothelioma testing

Many individuals in Minnesota who worked in industries where they were exposed to asbestos on a regular basis could be at risk for serious health issues. Among those issues is mesothelioma, a serious form of cancer. For many individuals, the process for diagnosing such an illness may be difficult, but a new procedure could potentially allow for more options to be available when it comes to testing for the cancer.

The main form of testing for mesothelioma involves Local Anaesthetic Thoracoscopy, a procedure that obtains a tissue sample for testing. However, this procedure may be too risky for individuals under certain circumstances. Luckily, these individuals may be able to undergo cutting-needle pleural biopsy, which is a different way to retrieve a tissue sample that could help definitively diagnose a patient.

If a person is unable to undergo thoracoscopy, vital time for treatment could be missed as diagnosis is delayed. Because research into this newer procedure yielded positive results, a safer avenue for frailer patients could open and allow them to receive the treatment they need sooner. It was noted that 94 percent of the cases undertaken during research were able to obtain an adequate tissue sample.

For individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, treatment and medical bills can be stressful. Though a new method for detection could allow them to receive a definitive diagnosis, paying for the treatment could still be an issue. Therefore, individuals in Minnesota who have been diagnosed and have a history of asbestos exposure at their place of employment or other institution, may be able to file a claim against those parties considered liable in order to seek compensation that could help pay for treatment.

Source: chestnet.org, “Physician-based ultrasound-guided biopsy for diagnosing pleural disease”, Rob Hallifax, May 15, 2014

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