The asbestos related cancer known as mesothelioma has been the center of much concern over recent years, with more and more people being diagnosed with this cancer. This is not because diagnostic procedures have suddenly evolved and made diagnosing this cancer easier; it is because many of the people who worked with asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s are only just finding out that they have this cancer because it can lie dormant for twenty to forty years or even longer.
In fact, diagnosing cancer is still notoriously difficult, although there are some tests that are commonly used in order to try and make this diagnosis. One of the reasons that it is so difficult to diagnose mesothelioma is because the symptoms are non-specific and can easily be confused with symptoms of other more common illnesses. However, the tests that are available today have made it possible to diagnose mesothelioma more effectively and accurately, although the key to a quick diagnosis is to ensure that your doctor is aware that you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and are in the higher risk group.
One of the tests that may be carried out to try and diagnose mesothelioma is the removal of a fluid sample, which is then analysed. However, this is often not enough to make a firm diagnosis, so the doctor may also perform a biopsy, which involves taking a small tissue sample from the affected area and analysing it. Before this, the doctor may carry out imaging tests, which include x-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans.
If the doctor finds that making a diagnosis is still difficult following scans and testing of fluids and tissue samples, he may also arrange a surgical biopsy, which is a more indepth biopsy that could help to provide more conclusive results.
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