How Do I Know if I Have Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is not easy to diagnose. The disease is often misdiagnosed, especially in the first few visits to a doctor. Doctors may run multiple tests before they settle on a diagnosis. These tests can be expensive and may take weeks to run. The doctors may diagnose other, more common ailments, such as pneumonia. They may prescribe the wrong treatments, such as antibiotics. In the meantime, the real illness, a cancer called mesothelioma, will continue to develop and spread.
An early diagnosis of this deadly cancer is critical. If it is caught at an early stage, there may be better mesothelioma treatment options available.
Although doctors may do a series of tests, such as x-rays, CAT scans, PET scans and a fluid biopsy (called a cytology), the only way to make a definitive diagnosis is from a tissue biopsy. If the cancer is suspected to be in the lining of the lungs, this biopsy will be done through the side or the back.
If you are worried that you might have mesothelioma, make sure to tell the doctor about your exposure to asbestos and ask that the doctor test you for it.
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