Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

The doctor will suspect that the patient has mesothelioma, if there are symptoms, which can be confirmed by a physical examination. But, to make sure, imaging tests need to be done. Among others are:

  • X-rays, to detect any abnormalities, such as thickening of the lung lining, fluid in the pleural cavity, or changes in the shape of the lungs.
  • CT scans, to examine the chest and abdomen, as well as to detect symptoms of cancer, determine the location of the cancer, and check whether the cancer has spread to other organs.
  • PET (tomography of positron release). The examination uses compounds that contain radioactive atoms injected into the body to obtain a detailed picture of the tissues suspected of having cancer cells.
  • MRI, to get a more detailed picture of the tissue to determine the location of the tumor.
In addition, the doctor may also recommend further tests in the form of:
  • Liquid sample inspection. If the patient has fluid buildup in the body associated with mesothelioma, the doctor will take a sample of the liquid using a needle inserted through the skin to the area where the liquid is located. The liquid will then be analyzed in the laboratory to detect the presence of cancer cells. There are several types of fluid and tissue sample testing, namely:
  1. Thoracentesis, taking liquid samples in the area of the pleural cavity.
  2. Paracentesis, taking the fluid in the abdominal cavity.
  3. Pericardiosentesis, taking fluid from the membrane around the heart.
  • Biopsy, which is the procedure for taking tissue samples from certain parts of the body for later analysis in the laboratory. There are several types of biopsy examination, namely:

  1. Needle biopsy. This type of biopsy uses a long needle inserted through the skin into the chest or stomach cavity to take tissue samples.
  2. Thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, and mediastinoscopy. This type of biopsy uses an elastic tube with a camera and a special surgical instrument is inserted through one or more small incisions to take tissue samples. This type of sampling procedure usually depends on the area of the body being examined, namely:

  • Thoracoscopy, to examine the space between the lungs and chest wall.
  • To examine the inner organs of the stomach.
  • Mediastinoscopy, to examine the area around the heart.

  1. Surgical biopsy. For some cases, your doctor will perform an invasive procedure to take a larger sample of tissue to make a diagnosis. Sometimes, the doctor will also perform the procedure to remove the entire tumor if possible. There are two types of surgical biopsy procedures:
  • Thoracotomy, which is a type of biopsy is done through open surgery on the chest.
  • Laparotomy, which is a type of biopsy is done through an open operation in the stomach.
  1. Bronchoscopic biopsy. The tissue removal procedure uses a thin long elastic tube inserted through the throat to inspect the airways.

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