Mesothelioma is one of the most uncommon cancers patients can suffer from in Pittsburgh and across the country. Mesothelioma is most often caused by exposure to asbestos, which has been almost completely banned in various industries, including construction. The disease can show up years after your last known exposure to asbestos.
So, is there a method to detect malignant mesothelioma through early cancer screenings even if you don’t exhibit any symptoms of the disease? Let’s explore this topic in today’s post.
If you know that you were exposed to asbestos (you worked in an industry that used it or you lived in a home that had it) your doctor will likely recommend that you have testing performed. Some of the tests that you may be subjected to include a CT scan and a chest x-ray.
Both of these tests are used to monitor possible changes in your lungs that could be related to mesothelioma or lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it is not known how effective either test is in detecting mesothelioma in the early stages of the disease.
Recently, doctors have discovered that people with mesothelioma have high levels of soluble mesothelin-related peptides and osteopontin in their blood. There are blood tests for these items that can be administered but doctors believe it will be years from now in discovering mesothelioma at an early stage of the disease.
Detecting malignant mesothelioma can be very difficult. More often than not, the patient exhibits symptoms well after the cancer has developed in their body and even spread to other areas. If you have been exposed to asbestos it’s in your best interest to see a doctor often for testing.