When a patient has signs and symptoms that suggest mesothelioma, the doctor conducts various physical exams to check for lumps. Imaging scans, including computerized tomography of the abdomen or chest and chest x-ray, can also be requested by the doctor to look for abnormalities. Based on the results, the doctor may further require testing aimed at determining whether mesothelioma is the cause of the symptoms.
The doctor can also request biopsy, which is a procedure that involves removing a small part of a tissue for laboratory examination to determine whether the patient has mesothelioma. Biopsy options include collecting a sample of a tissue during surgery whereby the surgeon takes a small incision and inserts a tube with a camera to see the inside of the patient’s chest. Specialized tools are passed through the tube to take a sample tissue.
Biopsy also involves inserting a needle through the skin of the patient. This includes removing a small tissue using a needle that is inserted through the skin on the abdomen or chest of the patient. The sample is then analyzed using a microscope to determine whether the tissue obtained from the chest or abdomen is mesothelioma and the type of cells involved. Treatment depends on the mesothelioma options the patient has.
Mesothelioma options of treatment depend on the state of health of the patient and various aspects of the patient’s cancer, like location and stage. Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease, and this makes it impossible to be cured in other patients. Its diagnosis is at an advanced stage when it is not possible to remove it through surgery. At this stage, the doctor works to control cancer and make the patient comfortable.
For effective treatment, the patient has to discuss the treatment goals with the doctor. Other patients tend to be ready to do whatever they can, even if it means enduring side effects to get an improvement in their health. However, other patients prefer to receive treatments that can make them comfortable for them to live without the symptoms of mesothelioma.
Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma can undergo surgery where the surgeons focus on removing the mesothelioma at an early stage. On some occasions, it is impossible to remove cancer. However, surgery helps in the reduction of signs and symptoms brought about by mesothelioma. The surgical options include:
The operation aimed at removing the tissue around the lungs, where the surgeons remove the pleurectomy to relieve the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma.
Surgery intended to decrease the buildup of fluids. Pleural mesothelioma causes buildup fluid in the chest of the patient leading to difficulty in breathing. The surgeons insert a catheter into the chest of the patient to remove the fluid. The surgeons can also inject the patient with a medicine in the chest to prevent pleurodesis.
Surgery to remove a lung and its surrounding tissue. This involves removing the tissue lining of the affected lung to eliminate the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. The patient will also be receiving radiation therapy on the chest after the operation.
Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma, the surgeons, remove cancer. In this condition, chemotherapy is applied before and after surgery. Chemotherapy involves the use of chemicals to destroy and kill cancer cells. This is applicable when treating mesothelioma that cannot be removed through surgery.
Chemotherapy drugs are administered and heated directly into the abdominal cavity of the patient, specifically when dealing with peritoneal mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma patients can also be treated through radiation therapy, which uses high-energy beams to particular spots on the body of the patient. Radiation therapy can also be used after surgery to kill the remaining mesothelioma cells in the body.