Mesothelioma is not easy to detect, and it can spread throughout the body long before treatment begins. For many, a diagnosis is essentially a death sentence, and they're left only able to use medication or techniques to cope with pain and the dysfunction within their bodies.
In some lucky cases, individuals are able to seek chemotherapy or surgery to remove the cancer. There is no guarantee that it can be cured, but if caught at an early stage, it may be possible to prevent the cancer from spreading. In some cases, it may be removed or the patient goes into remission.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
Mesothelioma is diagnosed as a result of patients' symptoms, first. For example, someone may go to the doctor complaining of a shortness of breath or pain in the chest.
The medical provider will then order a series of tests. Some common tests used to diagnose mesothelioma include:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
Each of these tests can show different things about the internal workings of the body. The scans may identify scar tissue, fluid build-up or other signs of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other illnesses. A biopsy may be used if the findings from a scan come back abnormal. The biopsy is used to identify any cancerous tissues in the body.
Blood tests are used to identify cancer markers, although they are not always accurate due to the body's hormonal shifts.
If you have mesothelioma or believe that you were exposed to carcinogens that cause mesothelioma, seek treatment. Early intervention is essential to your prognosis.