Different Tests To Detect Mesothelioma Cancer

Imaging tests

Imaging tests use x-rays, radioactive particles, or magnetic fields to create pictures of the organs inside your body. Imaging tests may be done for a number of reasons to help find a suspicious area that might be cancerous or to learn how far cancer may have spread. It helps to determine if the treatment has been effective.

Chest x-ray

Chest X-ray is often the first test done if someone has symptoms such as a constant cough or shortness of breath. It may show an abnormal thickening of the pleura, calcium deposits on the pleura, fluids between the lungs and the chest wall, or changes in the lungs themselves as a result of asbestos exposure.

Computed tomography (CT) scan

CT scans are often used to help assess the likelihood that Mesothelioma is present. It helps to determine the exact location of the cancer. They can also help to check the cancer stage and determine how far the disease is spread. It can also help to determine performing surgery might be a treatment option.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

For a PET scan, person receives an injection of glucose (a form of sugar) that contains a radioactive atom. The amount of radioactivity used is very low. Cancer cells in the body grow quickly so they absorb large amounts of the radioactive sugar. A special camera can then be used to create a picture of areas of radioactivity in the body. The picture is not detailed like a CT or MRI scans.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans

Like CT scans, MRI scans provides detail images of soft tissues in the body. But MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and then released in a pattern formed by the type of body tissue and certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern into detailed images of parts of the body. A contrast material called gadolinium is often injected into a vein before the scan to better see details.

Blood tests

Blood levels of certain substances are often elevated in people with Mesothelioma.

Tests of fluid and tissue samples

A person's symptoms, the results of tests, imaging tests, or blood tests may strongly suggest that Mesothelioma is present. The actual diagnosis is made by removing cells from an abnormal area and looking at them under a microscope.

Surgical biopsy

In some cases, more invasive procedures may be needed to get a large enough tissue sample to make a diagnosis. Surgery, either a thoracotomy (which opens the chest cavity) or a laparotomy (which opens the abdominal cavity) allows the surgeon to removes a larger sample of tumor or sometimes the entire tumor.

Bronchoscope biopsy

For pleural Mesothelioma, the doctor may also do a bronchoscopy. The doctor passes a long, thin, flexible, fiber-optic tube called a bronchoscope down the throat to look at the lining of the lungs. You will be sedated for this. If a tumor is found, the doctor can take a small sample of the tumor through the tube.

Above mentioned are the different types of tests that can be done to help diagnose mesothelioma cancer.

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