Diagnosing Malignant Mesothelioma
Malignant Mesothelioma: How is asbestos cancer diagnosed?
First you have to disclose your symptoms to your doctor. He or she will most likely do a complete physical examination, medical history, and take chest x-rays. Since malignant Mesothelioma cancer is only caused by asbestos exposure -- be sure to tell your doctor of your past experience with asbestos and other cancer-causing toxic substances.
Most likely your doctor will request CT scans and/or MRI to assist in diagnosing malignant Mesothelioma. With these tests, the doctor can assess the size, location, and extent of the Mesothelioma tumor in the chest or abdomen.
If, after performing the above tests, a doctor suspects malignant Mesothelioma, a biopsy should be taken in order to confirm the Mesothelioma diagnosis. A biopsy is the procedure for obtaining a tissue sample of the tumor. Tissue samples are removed either through a thorascoscopy or a broncoscopy.
A thoracoscopy is obtained by inserting a telescope-like instrument connected to a video camera through a small incision in the chest. The doctor removes the tumor using special forceps with the aid of the camera. This procedure is used for diagnosing both malignant pleural Mesothelioma and pericardial Mesothelioma.
A bronchoscopy involves inserting a flexible lighted tube through the mouth into the bronchi to remove tissue in the airway. This procedure is used for diagnosing pleural Mesothelioma.
Although a biopsy is the most effective procedure for diagnosing Mesothelioma, malignant Mesothelioma cells can look like other types of cancer. Therefore, special laboratory tests are sometimes performed or electron microscopes are used to confirm a diagnosis of Mesothelioma.
Medical science does not know how or why a carcinogen like asbestos causes a cell to become cancerous. It is not known whether only one fiber can cause a tumor to develop or whether it takes many fibers or what makes up the conditions to develop Mesothelioma.
Take the first step and fill out the short pre-case malignant Mesothelioma cancer questionnaire to let the process begin. We look forward to hearing about your case. Thank you.