Diagnosis of mesothelioma may be achieved by X-Ray and CD scans. Unfortunately, the lining of the body cavity is so thin that there must be considerable development of cancer before it thickens enough to be readily seen with these scans. The use of an MRI examination provides more and better information that an X-Ray examination. The diagnosis of mesothelioma is aided with the additional use of a PET scan, providing information in much smaller and specialized detail than is available from other techniques. The PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan emphasizes cancerous tissue by utilizing a radioactive sugar solution which is injected into a vein. The sugar is allowed to circulate through the system for 45 minutes, allowing the cancer cells that are voracious consumers of sugar, to concentrate the sugar and its radiation in the cancer. This makes a tumor very visible to the scan. The radioisotope used has a very short half life, which allows the radiation level to quickly decay and the body soon returns to a normal background radiation level. This is a very useful device for finding cancers that would be otherwise too small to show up on other kinds of scans.
Another diagnostic tool is the examination of fluid drawn from the site. This has not been found to be an effective tool because the fluid is not rich in identifying cells. The best pathological assessment is made by the examination of excised tissue. A needle biopsy may be used, but a better diagnosis is made from tissue that has been selectively surgically removed from the site in question.
Mesothelioma may occasionally be discovered during surgery for other reasons. Usually, mesothelioma is far advanced before the patient has any symptoms of the disease.
The prognosis for mesothelioma is very poor. The life expectancy from the time of diagnosis is usually one year. Medical treatment consists of palliative relief of symptoms and quality of life enhancement.
Patients facing this dark future may chose to seek relief not offered by conventional medicine. If this is the case, the field of alternative cancer treatment offers simple, inexpensive, and effective measures that have delivered thousands of cancer patients from the despair of a poor prognosis and has allowed them to live long and useful lives, surviving sometimes 40 years and then succumbing to other disease. Your conventional medical provider may scoff at such options, calling it ‘quackery’ and unproved.
All this not withstanding, if you have such a condition, you may owe it to yourself and your family to investigate whether this hope is real.