Diagnosis

When a patient has the symptoms of mesothelioma, doctors usually try to rule out more common diseases first because the symptoms of mesothelioma are very similar to the symptoms of other diseases, and mesothelioma is a rare cancer. Mesothelioma is not suspected right away unless the patient tells the doctor about a history of asbestos exposure.

Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Examination and X-Ray

The doctor will usually begin with a physical examination and a review of the patient's medical history. Then the doctor will take an x-ray of the area that is experiencing symptoms. If a patient has mesothelioma, an x-ray or CT scan will show dark masses on the lung or abdomen. However, other diseases also cause abnormal x-rays, so additional steps are required for a diagnosis.

Making the Diagnosis

An x-ray is not enough for a mesothelioma diagnosis. Before a diagnosis can be made, the doctor must take a sample of the tumor tissue, or biopsy, to determine what kind of growth it is and whether it is malignant.

The tissue sample is then sent to a laboratory, where experts determine whether it is cancerous. If it is cancerous, the pathologists determine the type of cancer as well. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, so an expert familiar with mesothelioma tissue diagnosis may be asked to examine the tissue sample to confirm the diagnosis.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is urgent that you have this important information on mesothelioma treatment and support. Please fill out the quick form and we will rush you this information or call us at 1-800-763-9545 to speak to us directly.

Next Steps

Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, the doctor tells the patient and refers the patient to an oncologist, or cancer specialist. However, mesothelioma is a rare cancer, so unless a doctor specializes in mesothelioma treatment they probably do not have much experience with it. It is important to find a mesothelioma expert and get opinions from multiple doctors so you know about all of the treatment options. Talk to several doctors and learn as much as you can before you decide what kind of treatment to have.

It is also important to remember that mesothelioma research is constantly changing and improving. You may be able to participate in clinical trials, and if you want to do so you should tell your doctor.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is urgent that you have this important information on mesothelioma treatment and support. Please fill out the quick form and we will rush you this information or call us at 1-800-763-9545 to speak to us directly.

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