Mesothelioma or Asbestos Question?

How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, or the special layer of cells that covers your internal organs and lines the inside of your body cavities. This cancer can affect the mesothelium in several different areas of the body, including the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, but the symptoms of this cancer may not appear for decades after initial exposure. This can make mesothelioma detection and diagnosis difficult.

Because mesothelioma can attack different areas of the body, there are no primary symptoms that signify the overall presence of this cancer. Rather, if you have pleural (lung) mesothelioma, you may notice coughing and chest pain. If you suffer from peritoneal (abdominal) mesothelioma, you may have unintentional weight loss and stomach pain.

Mesothelioma Diagnostic Tests

Once you visit the doctor complaining of these symptoms, he or she can put you through diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your suffering. Also, he or she may question you extensively about your past occupations and other experiences to determine if you may have come into contact with asbestos.

Your doctor may choose to take blood samples to see if you have an elevated white blood cell count or other signifiers of disease. You may also undergo imaging tests to find any tumors. These tests include x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. This can help pinpoint the location of any tumors, which can then narrow down the type of cancer that you may have.

Biopsies for Mesothelioma

Once doctors locate your tumor or tumors, you may have to undergo a procedure so that a surgeon can take a tissue sample for a biopsy. The tissue sample is then thoroughly examined to look for the presence of abnormal, cancerous cells. Once doctors determine that it is indeed mesothelioma, they will then look at how far the cancer has spread in order to decide on its stage of progression.

Contact Us

It can be frightening to undergo the diagnostic process, especially if you are not familiar with mesothelioma. To learn more about this cancer as well as asbestos exposure, please fill out the contact form located at the top of our page today.

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