There has always been a medical debate over how effective the use of CT (computed tomography) or CAT scans are when compared to chest x-rays, MRI ( Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in the diagnosis of the fatal asbestos disease, mesothelioma.

The presentation by an asbestosis lawyer of unequivocal, confirmed medical evidence of the precise location, status and potential/actual harmful activity of asbestosis symptoms and asbestos-related conditions forms a major plank in successfully resolving mesothelioma compensation cases.

There will always be a challenge to be overcome relating to employer responsibility for an initial workplace exposure to asbestos material and the harm perceived to be caused at the time affecting employer liability. Most importantly, proof is required linking the contribution original asbestos exposure caused in a particular workplace to the subsequent development of asbestosis disease, mesothelioma, pleural plaques, etc.

Unfortunately, the long period of time that elapses – sometimes up to 40 or 50 years – before the disease emerges to be diagnosed can cause complications with proving mesothelioma claim cases.

While X-rays of chest or abdomen can detect fluid build-up, masses, or signs of non-cancerous pleural disease, evidence of diffuse cancerous growths by radiology will only show as a shadow formed by a single tumour, as with peritoneal mesothelioma. Similarly, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which uses a computer-linked magnet to provide a highly detailed image of the interior body and can determine the severity of a tumour, is still unable to clearly indicate a cancerous growth.

CT scans produce images which provide a cross section examination of layers of the body to more easily reveal abnormalities at a given depth within the body. However, while CT scans are able to define pleural effusion, pleural thickening, pleural calcification or possible chest wall invasion, once again, CT scans cannot differentiate between benign or malignant mesothelioma.

More positively, recent data compiled from over 50,000 participants did find that CT scans accurately diagnosed lung cancer sooner than chest x-rays, increasing the survival rate by up to 20 per cent. As a result, CT screening for both lung cancer and the advanced lung cancer of malignant pleural mesothelioma can take place to be used in decisions over carrying out a surgical examination.