Mesothelioma can be a difficult cancer to diagnose. Those who have developed mesothelioma may not present symptoms until many years after their initial exposure to the conditions that caused the disease. In addition, other conditions can manifest similar symptoms, making a mesothelioma test method rather complex.
Doctors commonly use a range of different procedures as part of a comprehensive mesothelioma test process. These involve initial physical exams, followed by progressively advanced tests that will help medical professionals make a more concrete diagnosis.
Initial Mesothelioma Test Processes
Often, doctors will start with a simple physical exam to look for signs of mesothelioma in a patient. Doctors may order a simple x-ray to look for abnormalities around the lungs. Blood and urine tests may be part of an initial mesothelioma test order. A doctor who is considering a mesothelioma diagnosis will often ask the patient about a range of symptoms common with mesothelioma, including:
- chest pain
- problems breathing
- weight loss
Some of these symptoms can be warning signs of mesothelioma in the body, and along with some fairly standard mesothelioma test procedures, a doctor can pursue an accurate diagnosis.
Additional Radiology for a Mesothelioma Test
After the doctor has started to look at x-rays, blood tests and other simple mesothelioma test options, he or she may order more complex tests to see the chest and abdomen in more detail. These tests can include a CT scan, which can produce a more sophisticated three-dimensional image of the area, and a positron emission tomography or PET scan. In a PET scan test, medical professionals use something called a radioactive tracer to look for tumors around the lungs or abdominal area.
Advanced Mesothelioma Test Methods: Biopsy
Beyond initial mesothelioma test results, a doctor will often use a biopsy to confirm his or her theory about whether a patient has developed mesothelioma. A needle or surgical biopsy will gather a tissue or fluid sample. This physical mesothelioma test sample will be sent to a lab for further testing. If a smaller needle biopsy does not produce a big enough sample, the doctor might consider a more specialized method.
Typically, a biopsy will either confirm or rule out mesothelioma. In some cases, doctors will recommend more invasive surgery to see exactly how far mesothelioma has progressed, or to remove tumors. Doctors can also recommend treatments to control the growth of mesothelioma or otherwise work toward better quality of life for the patient.
Many patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma can recover money from asbestos manufacturers who were responsible for creating the conditions that caused this cancer. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, talk to Sokolove Law today about how to pursue a settlement and get compensated for medical bills and costs of care, as well as the pain and suffering that this condition can cause.