Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma

When a patients show to a doctor, complaining of pain in the chest and/or difficulty in breathing, the doctor must find out a detailed history from that patient, history about symptoms, everything about his work history, and any possibility of exposure to asbestos.

A physical examination must be carried out, and the patient recommended for a chest x-ray at the first instance.

Typical abnormalities observed on the chest x-ray in patients with malignant mesothelioma are a pleural effusion (an accumulation of fluid in the pleura space or cavity), or thickening of the pleura.

If the chest x-ray shows observable signs of malignant mesothelioma, it is then possible that further evaluations and analysis will be recommended, particularly if compensation may be sought. These evaluations may include other imaging techniques, bone scans, blood tests, and lung-function tests, in addition to that, more invasive procedures which includes thoracentesis, pleuroscopy, thoracoscopy, or a biopsy of the lung.

The reasons for these evaluations and analysis is to give a confirmatory diagnosis, to ascertain the kind of mesothelioma, the stage of the mesothelioma cancers (measured by its severity), and in order to determine if the mesothelioma cancers is operable.

A mesothelioma diagnosis is most usually gotten with careful evaluation of clinical and radiological discoveries, in addition to a confirmatory tissue biopsy. Evaluations from examinations of x-rays, and tests for lung function are of importance too. A CT scan or MRI may be used also at this time.

Imaging Techniques and Their Value in mesothelioma Diagnosis

The use of imaging techniques in mesothelioma diagnosis has been proved useful following the patients previous history. Although, these imaging techniques have been very helpful in the diagnosis of the possibility of mesothelioma cancers, comfirmatory diagnosis is still usually ascertained using fluid diagnosis or tissue biopsy.

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