Mesothelioma Cancer: Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma Cancer-

Beginning with diagnosis mesothelioma with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure. A complete physical examination including x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests is performed. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also be useful. A CT scan is a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. In an MRI, a powerful magnet linked to a computer is used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures are viewed on a monitor and can also be printed.

Such sophisticated imaging procedures as MRIs and CT scans usually offer a fairly clear diagnosis, but doctors almost always recommend one more test before coming to a definitive conclusion about any type of cancer. That test is known as a biopsy.

A biopsy, derived from the Greek word meaning "view of the living", involves removing a sample of fluid or tissue from the affected area and sending it to a pathologist for examination. The biopsy is done by inserting a thin needle into the area in question.

In a biopsy, a surgeon or a medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer) removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples. If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a peritoneoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.

If the diagnosis is mesothelioma cancer, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of the disease. Staging involves more tests in a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.

If the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated the mesothelioma symptom is described as localized. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.

Reference: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, mesothelioma causes.


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