Short Descripton About Mesothelioma Diagnosis

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How do medical professionals diagnose mesothelioma?
If you believe that you may have mesothelioma, a qualified medical professional will use a variety of diagnostic tests and methods to confirm the presence of the disease.

The first step that mesothelioma doctors will take in evaluating an asbestos related disease is to obtain a full medical history to determine the level and severity of mesothelioma risk factors and presenting mesothelioma symptoms. This interview will consider among other things, where asbestos exposure occurred, the length of exposure and the amount of asbestos that you were exposed to.



In addition, he/she will perform a medical exam to look for signs and symptoms of various types of mesothelioma. For example, if pleural mesothelioma is suspected the doctor will look for fluid in the chest, peritoneal mesothelioma often shows fluid in the abdomen and pericardial mesothelioma presents with fluid in the area of the heart.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Diagnostic Tests
Imaging Scans
Diagnostic image tests like x-rays, CT scans and MRI's are useful in obtaining more information about the cancer including how far it is progressed. Each method provides another piece of information for your doctor to assist him/her in making an accurate diagnosis. Chest x-rays are used to identify abnormalities in the lungs including unusual thickening, mineral deposits and fluid in the chest area. CT scans are capable of providing images of the same location from many different angles. MRI technology uses magnetic fields rather than x-ray to provide additional views.

Biopsies
A biopsy is an important diagnostic procedure recommended by doctors for patients presenting with signs and symptoms of mesothelioma that have a history of asbestos exposure. Fine needle aspiration is the less invasive type of biopsy that can be performed. More invasive surgical biopsies are recommended if results from a needle biopsy are inconclusive or if a needle biopsy is not recommended for medical reasons.


Source :
National Cancer Institute - Mesothelioma: Questions and Answers
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/mesothelioma

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