Testing for mesothelioma is usually done after symptoms develop. Unfortunately, by that time, it may be too late to begin aggressive treatments. According to the American Cancer Society, a mesothelioma blood test might be useful in detecting the disease sooner, even before symptoms are present and earlier than other forms of testing. This could help increase survival time and aid victims and families in exploring legal options sooner.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Symptoms of the disease start slowly and can appear anywhere between 10 and 50 years after exposure. As such, mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose and is often misdiagnosed as other, more common illnesses. There is currently not one catchall test for mesothelioma. Diagnosis, once symptoms develop, typically involves three types of testing: medical imaging, blood tests, and tissue biopsies.
What Is a Mesothelioma Blood Test?
A blood test for mesothelioma can help identify elevated biomarkers in mesothelioma patients. Biomarkers are substances found in the bloodstream that may signal the presence of mesothelioma. Studies have shown that individuals with mesothelioma have higher levels of osteopontin or soluble mesothelin-related peptide (SMRP) than healthy individuals.
An SMRP blood test can reveal details about the possible presence of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases that other diagnostic tests might not be able to detect. An SMRP blood test for mesothelioma alone cannot confirm the diagnosis, but it can be helpful when used with other forms of testing.
Which Mesothelioma Blood Test Is Most Effective?
Various tests are being studied and perfected, but the MESOMARK blood test has recently been shown to yield promising results for early detection of mesothelioma. Fujirebio Diagnostics developed the test, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The MESOMARK blood test measures the level of SMRP in a patient’s bloodstream. Mesothelioma cells produce SMRP, which is a compound of amino acids. The test can detect irregularly high levels of SMRP even before mesothelioma has fully developed, so the SMRP blood test may help identify individuals at high risk years before symptoms of the disease appear.
Who Is at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma develops slowly in the body, taking many years—even decades—before symptoms begin. This is why mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as other common illnesses, such as pneumonia, asthma, influenza, Crohn’s disease, varying types of heart conditions, and other cancers.
It is important to know if you or your family may be at risk. Several factors contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing mesothelioma. However, one of the main definitive causes is exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos exposure is most common in the workplace. People who are most at risk include firefighters, mechanics, miners, roofers, factory workers, and construction workers. Family members of workers and others exposed to asbestos may also be at risk due to the possibility of second-hand exposure from contaminated work clothes and gear.
How Can an Early Mesothelioma Blood Test Help You and Your Family?
A mesothelioma blood test is not a routine part of regular doctor visits. Therefore, individuals who believe they have been exposed to asbestos should contact a doctor as soon as possible and be tested. Getting a blood test for mesothelioma early could shed light on the stage of the disease, which can help victims seek aggressive treatments to increase survival time.
Getting tested early can improve a patient’s ability to get the financial support necessary to cover lost wages, medical costs, and other expenses. Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma, as well as the families of those who become ill, might be entitled to compensation from various sources.
What to Do After You Are Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
Treatment for mesothelioma can be very costly, and the impacts of the disease on your life and family can be devastating. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with this condition, by a mesothelioma blood test or combination of tests, and you believe the illness is the result of exposure to asbestos, the mesothelioma lawyers at the Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation: visit us online or call 214-774-2258.