Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging May Prevent Unnecessary Mesothelioma Surgery

lymph node staging for mesothelioma

A minimally invasive procedure for lymph node staging may help some pleural mesothelioma patients avoid the pain and risk of surgery. That is the conclusion of a recent study on endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA).  EBUS-TBNA is a minimally invasive method for testing the lymph nodes deep in the chest (mediastinal lymph nodes). If lymph node staging shows evidence of pleural mesothelioma, surgery is less likely to be effective.  Mediastinal Lymph Node Staging and Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that starts on the membrane around the lungs. It can spread to the lungs and other organs and is usually fatal.  The mediastinal lymph nodes are located in the area between the lungs. When the body is fighting … Continue reading Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging May Prevent Unnecessary Mesothelioma Surgery »

New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma

cancer blood test

Israeli researchers hope that a new kind of cancer blood test could help detect mesothelioma and other malignancies earlier. Earlier diagnosis could lead to longer mesothelioma survival. The blood test is based on the idea that immune system cells undergo metabolic changes when they fight a cancer like pleural mesothelioma. Different kinds of changes are associated with different kinds of cancers. The new cancer blood test detects these changes. Immune System Cells and Metabolism The immune system is the body’s primary way of defending itself against diseases like malignant mesothelioma. Metabolism refers to the way immune system cells expend energy to fight cancer.  An Israeli company is developing the new cancer blood test. It focuses on the metabolism of immune … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma »

Low-Dose CT Screening May Delay Mesothelioma Deaths

low-dose ct screening for meosthelioma

The results of a long-term national study suggest that low-dose CT screening might prevent – or at least delay – deaths from pleural mesothelioma.  The National Lung Screening Trial included more than 53,000 lung cancer patients. Researchers released the first results in 2011 after more than six years of study. The recent follow-up results reflect more than 12 years of data on low-dose CT screening. They show that, in many cases, screening lung cancer patients for at least three years delayed their deaths for more than a decade.  Pleural Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Pleural mesothelioma is not the same thing as lung cancer. Mesothelioma starts on the lining around the lungs (pleura), rather than in the lung tissue itself.  But … Continue reading Low-Dose CT Screening May Delay Mesothelioma Deaths »

Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients

BAP1 gene mutation

New guidelines may make it easier to tell which mesothelioma patients contracted the disease because of a BAP1 gene mutation. The knowledge could have an impact on mesothelioma treatment planning. BAP1 stands for BRCA associated protein-1. People who have an inherited BAP1 gene mutation face a higher risk for several conditions, including malignant mesothelioma.  Very few mesothelioma patients have the mutation and gene testing is not routine. So researchers at a top US cancer center have developed a set of screening criteria. The criteria may help predict which mesothelioma patients could benefit from genetic testing. Testing for the Altered Gene Mesothelioma is just one of the conditions associated with the inherited BAP1 gene mutation. People with this condition are also … Continue reading Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients »

Study Highlights Link Between Mesothelioma Incidence and Ovarian Cancer

mesothelioma incidence and ovarian cancer

New research shows ovarian cancer rates are highest in states with the highest mesothelioma incidence. Researchers say it is because both are linked to the carcinogen asbestos. Scientists have known since as early as the 1950s that asbestos causes cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most commonly associated with asbestos exposure. But women with a history of asbestos exposure face a higher risk of ovarian cancer, too.  The new CDC study is a reminder that a higher mesothelioma incidence is not the only threat from asbestos. Asbestos and Mesothelioma Incidence Before asbestos was linked to mesothelioma, it was a popular insulator and building product additive. Most US buildings constructed before the 1980s contain some asbestos. The asbestos in these buildings … Continue reading Study Highlights Link Between Mesothelioma Incidence and Ovarian Cancer »

Depression After Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Women Are at Highest Risk

depression after mesothelioma diagnosis

White women are more likely than other patients to experience depression after mesothelioma diagnosis.  That word comes from researchers at the University of Florida. The team analyzed the cases of more than 120,000 patients with late-stage cancer.  Although all patients face a risk of depression with an advanced cancer diagnosis, the problem appears to be worse among white women.  The research team says understanding how cancer news affects patients can help doctors avoid diagnosis bias.   Cancer Records from the SEER Database The Florida study provides important insights into who is likely to get depression after mesothelioma diagnosis.  The study included 123,066 advanced cancer cases from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database. All study subjects received their diagnosis between … Continue reading Depression After Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Women Are at Highest Risk »

Dog Research May Lead to Over-the-Counter Mesothelioma Test

over-the-counter mesothelioma test

A cancer research project involving dogs could eventually pave the way for an over-the-counter mesothelioma test.  Researchers in Florida recently published a study suggesting that dogs may be able to detect lung cancer with surprising accuracy. If they can determine which cancer biomarkers the dogs detect, they may be able to develop an over-the-counter mesothelioma test.  Can Dogs Smell Lung Cancer? The new study comes from the Florida campus of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). Researchers there are working with a canine training and research firm called BioScentDX. According to LECOM, a dog’s sense of smell is at least 10,000 times stronger than a person’s. The research team chose Beagles for the tests because they are among … Continue reading Dog Research May Lead to Over-the-Counter Mesothelioma Test »

Evaluating Mesothelioma Symptoms: New Tool Makes it Easier

evaluating mesothelioma symptoms

Evaluating mesothelioma symptoms is an important step in planning treatment for asbestos cancer. But researchers at a top US cancer center say it is hard to do a thorough job using current tools. That’s why doctors at MD Anderson have developed their own method for evaluating mesothelioma symptoms. They made some mesothelioma-specific additions to an existing cancer symptom evaluation system. Tests on more than 200 mesothelioma patients show the method works well and is easy to use. The developers hope doctors can use it to design better mesothelioma treatment plans. The Importance of Evaluating Mesothelioma Symptoms When a patient receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, the next step is evaluating mesothelioma symptoms. This process can help give the doctor valuable information about … Continue reading Evaluating Mesothelioma Symptoms: New Tool Makes it Easier »

Breath Testing for Mesothelioma: Not Yet Ready for Widespread Use?

breath testing for mesothelioma

Breath testing for mesothelioma may be a promising new way to catch asbestos cancer early. But Italian researchers are warning that there is not yet enough research to recommend widespread use of the technique. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a virulent and hard-to-treat cancer. Researchers around the world continue to search for faster, easier ways to diagnose and treat it. Breath testing for mesothelioma is one proposed method. Special machines measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in patients’ exhaled breath. VOCs can give doctors important information about cellular metabolism and can indicate the presence of cancer. But researchers at Italy’s University of Bari analyzed all of the studies on breath testing for mesothelioma since 2000. They say none of the studies are … Continue reading Breath Testing for Mesothelioma: Not Yet Ready for Widespread Use? »

Exposed to Asbestos? Lung Fluid Test May Waste Valuable Time

exposed to asbestos worker

If you have been exposed to asbestos and your doctor sees a mesothelioma tumor on your CT scan, it may be a waste of time to do a lung fluid test, too. Many different types of cancer cause excess lung fluid or pleural effusions. Looking for cancer cells in pleural effusions is one of the ways doctors test for cancers like pleural mesothelioma. This is called effusion cytology. But a new study says this test may not be very reliable for people with malignant mesothelioma. If other factors point to mesothelioma, they say it makes more sense to skip effusion cytology and go straight to a biopsy. Mesothelioma Develops in People Exposed to Asbestos Pleural mesothelioma is a type of … Continue reading Exposed to Asbestos? Lung Fluid Test May Waste Valuable Time »

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