How Mesothelioma Patients are Being Diagnosed in 2019
Mesothelioma is one of the world’s deadliest diseases. It’s also incredibly rare and comes with very few early warning signs, which is why most of those diagnosed tend to live only a few months afterward.
However, modern medicine is changing the way mesothelioma is diagnosed. It’s getting better at diagnosing patients earlier.
But the burden is on those who have come into contact with asbestos. They have to make sure to get regular health checks.
An estimated 80% of all mesothelioma cases are caused by contact with asbestos and early diagnosis could save your life.
State-of-the-Art Imaging Tests
The first step doctors take to diagnose mesothelioma is to find evidence of tumors within the body. Small tumors are often the first sign that someone has mesothelioma and the disease has begun to spread.
There are a variety of imaging tests used by doctors to detect tumors. X-rays are common, but these days doctors also use more complex tests, such as CT, PET, and MRI scans.
Sometimes it may be necessary to use all imaging scans to be sure that mesothelioma is present.
Blood Marker Tests
One of the major breakthroughs in diagnosing mesothelioma is blood marker tests.
By taking blood tests, doctors can gain an insight into whether further tests are needed. Blood marker tests enable doctors to diagnose the disease earlier than ever before.
With only 10% of mesothelioma sufferers surviving longer than 12 years, blood marker tests are considered a game-changer for early diagnosis.
Doctors are specifically looking for substances like mesothelin-related peptides and fibulin-3 in the blood as indicators of mesothelioma.
A biopsy is a procedure that involves taking fluid or tissue from an area where mesothelioma is suspected. An expert will then take the sample and examine the cells under a microscope.
This is the final step in the process of definitively diagnosing mesothelioma.
Despite what it sounds like, biopsies aren’t traumatic or particularly invasive. It can be as simple as taking a skin sample or a fluid test by extracting it from a visible tumor. Biopsies don’t necessarily involve surgery.
Regular Checks Remain the Most Effective Diagnostic Method
The world’s longest-living mesothelioma survivor, Paul Kraus, has lived for more than 20 years with the disease. His mesothelioma was extremely aggressive, so treatment and control were always a challenge in the beginning.
Survivors like Paul say that for all the advances in modern medicine the most effective move is to get regular checks if you’ve worked in a profession where asbestos was present.
So many patients are diagnosed much too late to save them and the symptoms are not obvious.
Mesothelioma is also extremely aggressive. You should click here to learn more about the nature of mesothelioma.
Last Word – See Your Doctor for Annual Health Checks
If you believe you’ve come into contact with asbestos at some point in your life, even if you were wearing protective gear, you should see your doctor for annual health checks.
That will increase your chances of having your mesothelioma diagnosed early, and thus a better prognosis.
Are you receiving regular health checks?