Mesothelioma: The Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms and how they make the diagnosis for mesothelioma
Early stages of mesothelioma are non-specific in nature and can delay the diagnosis. Usually, shortness of breath, persistent coughs, chest pain are common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, but, in most cases, may not be convicing enough to compel someone to require medical assistance. Some people with mesothelioma complain of pain to the shoulder or lower back . These symptoms are most often 2-3 months before a confirmed diagnosis. Peritoneal Mesothelioma, pain and bloating, nausea or vomiting, intestinal occlusion and weight loss are common symptoms. The important thing to remember is that these symptoms are not specific only to mesothelioma, but also other diseases. You should always seek the advice of a qualified expert.
Advanced Mesothelioma pleural effusion, (accumulation of fluid between the two layers of the pleura) occurs in 95% of people who have mesethelioma, it's this symptom that ultimately prompts people to consult their doctor. During this visit a chest x-ray can usually confirm the nature of your symptom . At this point you may also notice a thickening of the pleura. If your doctor suspects that it might be cancer, contact a consultant specializing in lung cancer and mesothelioma.
When The doctor refers you to someone else, they must provide the following information:
Where are they directing you to.
The date provided for the appointment.
Who is going to perform the exam.
What kind of tests will be made.
When will you recieve the results of the exams.
The National Institute for clinical Health has developed the following general guidelines to further consult or refer patients with suspected cancer, These guidelines may not apply to all individuals, and the details of your case are always discussed with the team if it is to play a proactive role in treatment and care.
The doctor should carry out an assessment of the degree of urgency that is based on the following criteria:
Immediate referral: the patient must be seen within a few hours.
Urgent referral: the patient must be seen within two weeks.
Non-urgent: all other referrals.
Once established the degree of urgency, the doctor sends all information relating to the case to a specialist who evaluates.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma is obtained mostly by careful evaluation from the clinic and radiological findings, confirmed by a biopsy of the tissue. The following are some recommended examinations by specialists, for the diagnosis and evaluation of mesothelioma.
Tomograthy is able to highlight the pleural effusion, thickening of the pleura, the calcification, thickening of interlobular fissures and the eventual invasion of the chest wall. The (CT) is not, however, able to distinguish changes associated with benign tumor, or differentiate between adenocarcinoma of the lung and mesothelioma. CT scan can be useful to guide thin needle perfectly into the tissue. This scan takes usually 10-30 minutes, but the duration may vary depending on the patient.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI scans are mostly used to determine the size of the tumor before an aggressive therapy. Since they provide images on multiple plans, manage to better identify tumors as distinguish them from the normal structures. They are also a more accurate evaluation of CT scans in the enlargement of Mediastinal lymph nodes that lie between the two lungs, and a clear diaphragmatic image, both important in candidacy for surgical intervention. An MRI scan is usually 20-40 minutes, but the duration may vary depending on the patient.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
PET imaging is gaining an important part in the diagnosis and evaluation of mesothelioma. PET images are considered the most diagnostic to identify tumors and for determining the stage of the Mesothelioma. Since PET scans are relatively recent and may not be available in most clinics , it is necessary to move in a specialized center that performs it.
It is believed that the analysis of pleural fluid for malignant cells have a limited value in the diagnosis of mesothelioma. The diagnostic thoracentessis, in which cells are extracted from the pleural cavity, commonly occurs if there is a possibility of mesothelioma. Unfortunately 85% of the analyzed liquid will have negative or inconclusive readings. Even if it were a positive result, medics opt for a biopsy of the tissue that gives confirmation, if not detrimental to the health of the patient.
Tissue analysis or better known has biopsy
In most cases it is a biopsy of the pleura performed with a needle, which gives confirmation of diagnosis of mesothelioma. In a pleural biopsy procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the chest wall and puts a thin and light tube, called an "endoscope" between your chest or two ribs. Then a sample of tissue is collected, a pathologist will examine it under a microscope. A peritoneal biopsy, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the abdomen and inserts a peritoneal endoscope in the abdominal area.
Mesothelomia and exposure to asbestos are related .
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