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Lung Biopsy Testing for Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos over a long period of time and are experiencing certain symptoms that might indicate lung cancer, a lung tissue biopsy may be performed in order to test for cancer.

There are three types of lung biopsies that you may have to undergo in order to determine whether or not lung cancer such as mesothelioma is present. These three biopsies are:

  • Percutaneous lung biopsy: performed by passing a needle through the skin into the lungs.
  • Bronchoscopic lung biopsy: performed using a bronchoscope and possible fluoroscopic X-ray guidance
  • Open lung biopsy: the biopsy is taken through or during surgery on the lungs

An open lung biopsy will be performed if there is any indication of the presence of enlarged alveoli, cysts, a blood coagulation disorder, blood oxygenation issues, pulmonary hypertension or the enlargement of the right ventricle.

Lung biopsies are generally provide the most reliable results in relation to lung cancers. They help determine the presence of cancer, the stage of the cancer and what type of therapy will be most effective. The type of lung biopsy performed will be selected by your doctor based on your particular case. Most people recover from lung biopsies fairly easily and they cause only moderate amounts of pain. Moderate to heavy physical activity should be avoided for a time period, suggested by your doctor, after the procedure is done.

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