Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mesothelioma Victims

Mesothelioma is not a disease that can be detected easily as it rarely gives out symptoms at its early stage in the body. Even with the symptoms, diagnosing the disease is difficult as these symptoms are very common with other diseases too.

Within this backdrop, patients' medical histories can help diagnose the disease. Therefore, physicians inquire about a patient's medical history if they suspect mesothelioma might be the case. Then the X-ray is performed and if necessary CT scan or MRI is also performed.

With these scans, the amount of fluid if it is present can be seen and this fluid is then aspirated with the help of a syringe. While a pleural tap is used to extract pleural fluid, the fluid in pericardial cavities is taken out by pericardiocentesis. Paracentesis is performed to take out fluid in abdomen.

If these fluids give out evidences of having mesothelioma, physicians do further tests on patients to prove the conditions clearly. At this stage, mostly a biopsy is done and tissues are sent to the pathologist for microscopic tests. Depending on the locations of the cancer, the methods used for biopsies can be different from each other. As an example, for cancer in the chest, thoracoscopy is performed to get tissues, in which, the physician make small incision on the chest wall and insert a thoracoscope between the ribs. In this way, the doctor can examine the inside of the chest cavities and extract tissue samples for microscopic testing.

On the other hand, to get tissue samples from a mesothelioma patient in the abdominal cavities, a laparoscopy is done. During this procedure a very small cut is made on the abdominal areas large enough to insert an instrument into the abdomen. Sometimes the procedure is not sufficient to take out enough tissues for the microscopic test and if this is the case, another major surgery has to be performed.

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