How Doctors Diagnose Mesothelioma
There are 3 most important types of tests used to mesothelioma diagnose: imaging scans, blood tests, and biopsies. doctors typically perform the least invasive tests first, observed by more involved tests if they are warranted.
Diagnostic imaging tests, like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, help doctors obtain information about cancer, including how far it has progressed. every method has its benefits and limitations.
X-rays are commonly used to diagnose many conditions, illnesses, and accidents. They may be mainly helpful in finding fluid inside the lungs, often an early sign of mesothelioma.
computer tomography (CT) scans provide a series of X-ray photographs to form a 3D image, permitting tumors to be spotted more easily.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans provide a 3D version with much higher resolution than other imaging techniques. this can be helpful in diagnosing metastasis (spreading) of the mesothelioma.
Positron Emission Tomography (pet) scans use a radioactive isotope injection that may be viewed by the scanner. pet scans can assist distinguish benign versus malignant tumors.
Blood tests and Biomarkers
In the latest years, a number of blood tests have been developed to identify substances in the blood that can point to the presence of mesothelioma cancer cells. The presence of those substances, referred to as biomarkers, does not always indicate a mesothelioma analysis, however, they can provide useful information that can demonstrate a need for a biopsy. Biomarker tests are also called “assays.”
Mesothelioma is Commonly Misdiagnosed
Mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed, as a minimum initially, partly due to the truth that many mesothelioma signs resemble the symptoms of other diseases. additionally, because mesothelioma is so uncommon, doctors may be more inclined to diagnose a more common disease first, thereby delaying treatment. Misdiagnosis can range depending on the sort of mesothelioma a person has. The table below provides common misdiagnoses primarily based on mesothelioma type.
- Bronchial infections
- chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Adenocarcinoma and other lung cancers
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Ovarian cancer
- other cancers affecting abdominal organs
- Coronary artery disease
- heart failure
- Tuberculosis pericarditis
- Other heart-associated cancers, which include synovial sarcoma
The prognosis for mesothelioma is terrible, with most patients living much less than 12 months. The sort of mesothelioma, stage of cancer, and patient health are the three most important factors used to determine analysis. Mesothelioma prognosis can be improved by receiving treatment as soon as viable and leading a healthy way of life.
What Factors Affect Mesothelioma Prognosis?
There are 5 primary factors that medical doctors consider when determining a prognosis for mesothelioma patients.
Peritoneal mesothelioma (in the abdomen) has a slightly better prognosis than pleural mesothelioma (in the lungs). Pericardial mesothelioma (within the heart) has a very bad prognosis.
Of the 3 primary cell kinds of mesothelioma, epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common and additionally has a better diagnosis than sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma patients diagnosed at an early stage will have a better prognosis than those diagnosed at a later stage. by stage III and stage IV, usually, only palliative treatments are given to relieve pain and discomfort.
If the mesothelioma has spread to different parts of the body from where it originated (i.e., metastasized), the prognosis is much worse. once the disease starts to spread, it is much more difficult to remove cancer through a surgical operation or kill it with chemotherapy.
patients who’re relatively young and healthy can have a better prognosis because their bodies are better able to handle the treatments. Older patients also tend to have other conditions which could exacerbate the disease or restriction treatment options.
Prognosis by Mesothelioma Type
The kind of mesothelioma, which is determined by the location where it first develops, could have a big effect on the prognosis of the disease.
On average, patients who receive some form of treatment live among six and one years after analysis. some treatments have been linked to slightly longer survival times, together with chemotherapy using pemetrexed (Alimta®) and Cisplatin.
The average survival duration for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma is 12 months. but, patients who are healthy enough to undergo surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) have a much higher average length of survival, with as many as half-living for more than 5 years.
In most cases, pericardial mesothelioma isn’t even recognized until an autopsy is performed. For patients who are diagnosed while still alive, pericardial mesothelioma presents an extremely poor prognosis.
Mesothelioma Prognosis and Treatment Cost
Mesothelioma treatment costs may be significant, no matter a patient’s diagnosis. some insurance agencies may not cover the expenses of diagnostic tests, clinical trials, or other experimental treatment plans.
|Mesothelioma Diagnosis & Treatment Costs||Approximate Cost Range|
|Surgery – Lobectomy/Pneumonectomy (removal of part or all of a lung)||$13,000 – $17,000|
|Radiation||$7,000 – $12,000|
|Chemotherapy – Pemetrexed||$37,000 – $50,000|
|Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)||$700 – $1,000|