Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
Diagnosis of rare form of cancer which is commonly known as Mesothelioma is very challenging, even for highly qualified oncologists. Mesothelioma’s symptoms rarely appear after the disease has entered its later stages but even so, they are hard to differentiate from the signs of some more common respiratory illnesses. Majority of patients with pleural mesothelioma do not experience visible symptoms until the cancer is in the latter stages of development.
So, how is Mesothelioma diagnosed? If any patient experiences mesothelioma symptoms, several tests and procedures are performed to be exact about its cause. This is so because the disease is often classified as critical and every party needs to be sure about it. For ensuring about it, patients should choose a doctor with experience of diagnosing mesothelioma.
Procedures below are used for Mesothelioma Diagnosis:
- Imaging tests
- Considered as first step in diagnosing Mesothelioma, these tests show presence of abnormalities. This helps doctors to know where tumor is and how advanced cancer may be. Each and every test has its own response which helps specialist to make an accurate diagnosis.
- X-ray gives doctors 2D image of patient and it can also show how tumor and fluids are building up. X-ray is used for all suspected stages of Mesothelioma.
- Computed Tomography Scan:
- CT scans are used to nullify mistakes or anomalies that are found in X-ray scans. It is used for diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.
- Positron Emission Tomography Scan:
- PET scans are useful to identify which stage of mesothelioma is the patient currently in.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan:
- MRI scans are used to create in-depth images of tissues. This scan is also useful to identify if surgery is possible.
- Blood Tests
- For better diagnosing of patients and which disease they are suffering from, blood tests are very useful. This test also helps to decide on which treatment to be granted to patients. For identification of mesothelioma, following blood tests are performed:
- This test is used to measure level of soluble mesothelin related peptides (SMRPs) in patients’ blood. Patients with mesothelioma have higher concentrations of SMRPs.
- Cancer Antigen 125 (CA125):
- CA125 is seen in a healthy person but in patients of mesothelioma, higher concentrations of antigen is seen.
- Fibulin-3 is still being researched by researchers. Testing for this in a patient’s blood may help all difficulties being removed but note that it is not yet ready.