How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
The symptoms of mesothelioma are often very similar to those of common illnesses like pneumonia, making mesothelioma difficult to diagnose. Determining the cause of symptoms will often require physicians to run a variety of tests after physical and oral exams.
To gather more information and visually identify potential tumors and fluid build-up, doctors will often order one or more types of imaging tests. These tests can include x-rays, CT scans, and PET scans to assist in determining the problem.
After imaging scans, a doctor may wish to perform a biopsy if a growth was found in one of the areas that mesothelioma commonly develops. To perform the biopsy, doctors can use several methods of obtaining a fluid or tissue sample that can then be viewed under a microscope to determine whether a sample is cancerous or not. Cancerous tumors are referred to as malignant, and non-cancerous tissue is called benign. Tissue samples taken from the biopsy may also be stained to determine the cell-type, which can be classified as epithelial, sarcomatoid, or mixed/biphasic.
Once diagnosed, these tests will also assist your physician in staging your mesothelioma.