Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mesothelioma

How to Determine If You Have Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma diagnosis is very important as far as an early treatment is considered. It helps with better pain management. Mesothelioma diagnosis is confusing as the symptoms mimic many lung infections.
Steps
1.     Consult your physician.
2.     Get Mesothelioma tests done. An early initiation of treatment will help reduce the cancer pain considerably.
o    Valuable Imaging techniques used in Mesothelioma tests are X Ray, CT (Computerized tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and PET (Positron Emission Tomography)
o    Invasive procedures for Tissue and fluid samples are also done. Usually invasive procedures {which invade the body} are required to make a final confirmed Mesothelioma Diagnosis (Thoracoscopy, Peritoneoscopy and Biopsy)
o    Recently the first ever Blood test for Mesothelioma have been devised as reported by Pacific North-West Research Institute. This is based on the fact that [ cells release tumor markers called SMR (Soluble mesothelin-related) proteins
3.     Answer these before you go ahead with the Mesothelioma diagnosis: Have you been exposed to asbestos? (Although not all the Mesothelioma cases are direct results of asbestos exposure there is a strong association between the two.) Do you experience Mesothelioma symptoms?
4.     Be aware that there are two types mesothelioma: benign and malignant. The malignant type is also sometimes called mesothelioma lung cancer. Mesothelioma most often occurs in the thin membrane lining (or mesothelium) of cavities that house the lungs, chest, abdomen, and (sometimes) heart. The immune system identifies the "foreign" matter in the body and focus on the asbestos fiber, trying to dissolve it. The acids that the body excrete, starts to irritate the surrounding healthy body cells. Mesothelioma cancer commence when the healthy body cells mutate due to the acidic irritation. In stead of dying off... their cell membranes harden, and they start to multiply. The cancerous growth creates a localized pain that increases over time until it becomes unbarable.
5.     Know your risk factors. You may have been at a place or environment with asbestos risk at any time during your lifetime. It could have been in the home where your grew up, your school, your current home or work environment, or even a specific geographical location.
6.     Understand that mesothelioma can be difficult to treat, largely due to the fact that it remains latent in the body for up to five decades and is usually not diagnosed until its late stages. Also, diagnosis may be difficult due to the non-specific nature of most mesothelioma symptoms, which often resemble symptoms of less serious diseases.
7.     Be aware that the process for diagnosis usually begins with a compilation of the patient's full medical and work history including any exposure to asbestos. A medical examination is performed and if a problem is suspected, one or more diagnostic tests are ordered. These typically include medical imaging tests such as x-ray or CT and MRI scans, as well as biopsy procedures that test samples of fluid and tissue for the presence of cancer cells. Diagnostic tests are also used to determine how far the cancer has advanced, and whether it has spread to other locations in the body.
Tips
  • If you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos then get mesothelioma tests done at the earliest


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