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Why diagnosing mesothelioma in its early stages makes a difference

When mesothelioma is diagnosed in its early stages, the life expectancy of the patient is generally longer than if it's not caught until the later stages. When people are still in stage 1 or 2 of the cancer, it often responds well to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Early-stage mesothelioma patients are also more likely to qualify for clinical trials than later-stage ones.

In the first two stages, cancer cells have not yet spread to the lungs and lymph nodes. The tumors are contained in the lining of the lung (stage 1), lung tissue or diaphragm (stage 2).

The problem is that the early symptoms of mesothelioma often don't raise alarms. They can include body aches, fever, weight loss, chronic cough and shortness of breath (the last one particularly in stage 2).

If you work in an environment (or did in the past) where you believe you could have been exposed to asbestos or believe you may have been exposed to it elsewhere, it's worth having these symptoms checked out by a physician.

This form of cancer can lie dormant in the body for years and possibly decades. Therefore, someone may not begin suffering even the early symptoms of it until long after they have been out of the environment where they were exposed to asbestos. Of course, some people never realized that they were ever exposed to it.

Catching mesothelioma in its early stages could add several years or more to your life. Survival rates among mesothelioma patients vary depending on the individual. However, it can have a devastating impact on the life of the patient and his or her family. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it's essential to get legal guidance from an Illinois attorney experienced in handling asbestos and mesothelioma-related cases.

Source: Asbestos.com, "Early Stages of Mesothelioma," accessed April 27, 2017

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