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By Treven Pyles
Posted on October 11th, 2019
Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining (or mesothelium) surrounding the lungs, abdomen, and heart. The sole cause of this deadly cancer type is exposure to airborne asbestos fibers and can take anywhere between 20 to 50 years to develop.
Testing for mesothelioma is usually done through a combination of X-rays and CT-PET scans. The X-ray is used to establish that a body with a different density than the surrounding tissue is present, and the CT scan provides more accurate data about its form and location.
The only way to definitively confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis is through a biopsy, a process by which a small quantity of tissue is removed from the human body to be analyzed under a microscope. In the case of mesothelioma, this can be done in five different ways.
The type of cells collected will help doctors narrow down the exact form of mesothelioma the patient might be suffering from, while further imaging scans will inform them about the progression of the disease. Blood tests are usually used to measure the patient's general state of health and his or her response to treatment.