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Advice for visiting doctor about asbestos-related cancer

The Mayo Clinic provides some guidance for people who are seeing a doctor about potential mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body called the mesothelium.

Mesothelioma is caused primarily by exposure to asbestos.

If you have lung or abdominal symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma, according to the Clinic, you’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. But when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in lung diseases, called a pulmonologist, or a doctor who specializes in abdominal problems, called a gastroenterologist.

Because appointments can be brief and there’s often a lot of ground to cover, the Clinic recommends being well-prepared, by:

— Being aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there’s anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.

— Writing down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.

— Writing down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes. If you’re worried about mesothelioma, make a list of all your occupations, even those you had for only a few months.

— Making a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you’re taking.

— Planning to take a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to absorb all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.

— Writing down questions to ask your doctor.

— Gathering any medical records, such as past chest X-rays, that relate to your condition.

— Making a list of previous occupations, beginning with your first job. Your doctor may use this list to determine whether you may have been exposed to asbestos at work.

If you or a loved one have contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.

For more information about mesothelioma, see here:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mesothelioma/DS00779/DSECTION=preparing-for-your-appointment