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Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosis


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Proper diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma, a form of cancer in the thoracic cavity caused by contact with asbestos, is of great importance because it enables the patient to get disease-specific treatment immediately and also arms him adequately for any lawsuit for compensation.

Unfortunately, diagnosis of this sickness is a very difficult process. The reasons are several. There are no specific to the disease outward signs. The symptoms like breathing difficulty, coughing, weight loss, chest and back pains, and fatigue among others are common to many ailments. They can confuse a doctor. And these indications take twenty to forty or fifty years after contact with asbestos to manifest. If some cases there may be no perceptible clues till the cancer has spread. Many doctors are unfamiliar with the disease. One key factor that would give the correct lead to a doctor is the information whether the patient had exposure to asbestos in the past. Since most of the pleural mesothelioma patients are in the sixty-seventy age group, there is the possibility that some of them may not recall details dating back forty or fifty years.

Diagnostic procedure starts with studying the patient’s medical history in detail and giving him a complete physical check up. Next comes imaging. This includes x-ray, CT (Computed Tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (position emission tomography). These may reveal irregular thickening of the pleura (membrane lining the thorax), fluid collection in that area, congestion of the lungs, and mineral deposits. Magnified view and laboratory tests assist in determining whether chemicals found are the same as those seen in pleural mesothelioma cases. Analysis of fluid, tissues and lymph nodes helps in reaching a conclusion. Sometimes bronchoscopy, in which a lighted flexible tube is inserted through the moth, is done. Thorascopy in which the doctor looks into the chest cavity may also be performed. Finally, a pleural biopsy confirms the diagnosis.

An October 2005 report states that a new method that assists diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma is to measure the presence of osteopontin in blood.

Pleural Mesothelioma provides detailed information on Malignant Diffuse Pleural Mesothelioma, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Survival Rate, Mesothelioma Pleural Brachytherapy and more. Pleural Mesothelioma is affiliated with Peritoneal Mesothelioma Lawyers.

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  • Posted On January 11, 2007
  • Published articles 283513

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