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Should I see a mesothelioma specialist?

Başlatan Fussilet, Nisan 26, 2009, 05:03:42 ÖS

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Should I see a mesothelioma specialist?

This page tells you about the guidelines that GPs have to help them send the right people for pleural mesothelioma tests.  There is information below on

    * The guidelines
    * Urgent chest X-ray
    * Guidelines for urgent referral
    * What to do if you are still worried

The guidelines

It can be very difficult for GPs to decide who may have a suspected cancer and who may have something much more minor that will go away on its own.

With many symptoms, it is perfectly right that your GP should ask you to wait to see if they get better or respond to treatment such as antibiotics.  If GPs referred everyone who came to see them to a specialist immediately, the system would get jammed and those needing urgent appointments wouldn't be able to get them.

There are particular symptoms that mean your GP should refer you to a specialist straight away.  NICE (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) have produced guidelines for GPs to help them decide which patients need to be seen urgently by a specialist.  These Government guidelines on referrals for lung cancer, which includes mesothelioma, were revised in 2005.

The guidelines say that, with some symptoms, you should be sent for an urgent chest X-ray.  If that shows anything abnormal, then you should get an appointment to see a specialist.  You should ideally see a specialist within two weeks of going to the GP.

There are no guidelines for seeing a specialist for peritoneal mesothelioma.  If you know you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, and have unexplained symptoms, you should see your doctor.

Urgent chest X-ray

You should have an urgent chest X-ray if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and have any of these symptoms

    * New chest pain
    * Difficulty breathing
    * Unexplained symptoms that last for more than 3 weeks, such as shoulder pain, cough or weight loss

Guidelines for urgent referral

According to Department of Health guidelines, if you need an urgent referral, you should ideally get an appointment within 2 weeks.

You should ideally see a specialist urgently if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and have recently developed chest pain and shortness of breath.

What to do if you are still worried

If you are concerned that your GP is not taking your symptoms as seriously as you think he or she should, you could print this page and take it along to an appointment.  Ask your GP to talk it through with you and then you may be able to decide together whether you need to see a specialist and if so, how soon.
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