Mesothelioma Must Be Diagnosed by Biopsy
A biopsy is a sample of the tissue, which is removed and sent to a pathologist for examination. Exactly how your doctor determines you need a biopsy depends on many things. There will be much for your doctor to review before you get a to a biopsy.
Mesothelioma is not easy to diagnose. Doctors will need all the information they can get to make the diagnosis. To begin with, the clinical history may be the most important clue. Anyone with asbestos exposure and symptoms of lung disease, including shortness of breath, chest pain or cough should be evaluated for possible mesothelioma as well as asbestosis.
If you have symptoms of trouble in your chest or lungs, that is what your doctor will first look at. Your doctor will examine you carefully, paying special attention to your heart and lungs
Without knowledge of asbestos exposure, the doctor may find little or nothing on physical examination that would indicate the presence of a mesothelioma. Without knowledge of asbestos exposure, the doctor my find little or nothing on physical examination that would indicate the presence of a mesothelioma.
The doctor will listen to your lungs. There may be areas where the doctor cannot hear the breath sounds. The can be because of a pleural effusion. Or fluid between the chest wall and lung on one side or the other. There can be rattling or wheezing depending on whether or not there is mesothelioma in the airways, and also depending on whether or not the person has any other lung disease, like emphysema or asbestosis. Thre are other physical findings a doctor can pick up by tapping on the chest. The doctor will also check for any swelling of the lymph glands above the collarbones or in the armpits.
There are other clues for trouble in the lungs, which can include a slightly blue titnt if you are not getting enough oxygen, and a deformity of the ends of the fingers called clubbing, which happens to patients with significant and longstanding lung disease
Taking all these things together in a person with occupational or other exposure to asbestos, the doctor may be suspicious of mesothelioma and go on to order additional test with that in mind. Otherwise, the doctor may be looking to find some other cause fo a problem in the lungs.
If you have abdominal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, pain bloating and swelling, or blockage but do not know about asbestos exposure, it it very likely the doctor will not even consider mesothelioma at the time of the first examination If you have questions regarding asbestos exposure visit mesothelioma lawyer locator