Accurate Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma with History and Imaging Only

accurate diagnosis of mesothelioma

Medical history and CT imaging may be enough to make an accurate diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma, even without a biopsy. That finding comes from a team of French and Canadian researchers led by Universite Laval in Quebec.  Biopsy is usually considered critical for accurate diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma. But the French and Canadian team says imaging studies may provide enough information to make a diagnosis.  This could be especially good news for people who are not healthy enough to undergo thoracoscopy. Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnostic Procedure: First Steps Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that grows on the membranes around internal organs.  This cancer is rare and notoriously difficult to diagnose, especially in … Continue reading Accurate Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma with History and Imaging Only »

Pleural Mesothelioma Staging: These Overlooked Lymph Nodes Might Help

pleural mesothelioma staging

An often-ignored set of lymph nodes behind the ribs could help make pleural mesothelioma staging more accurate and valuable.  Staging is the process of determining how advanced a patient’s cancer is. It involves looking at various different factors and assigning a rating between 0 and 4. A higher stage indicates more extensive cancer. A new report suggests that the posterior intercostal lymph nodes behind the ribs play a more important role in pleural mesothelioma staging than previously thought. Mesothelioma patients with cancer in these nodes lived half as long as other mesothelioma patients.  Researchers in Maryland and Pennsylvania say removing and examining these nodes may lead to more accurate staging, more informed treatment decisions, and better outcomes.   How Lymph Nodes … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Staging: These Overlooked Lymph Nodes Might Help »

The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations

pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma

An international team of researchers says it is time to refine the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma. They are recommending a list of changes they say could make the process more effective. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Under current pathology guidelines, it falls into just three categories. But the research team says those guidelines do not give doctors enough information. They recommend updates to make the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma more specific.  Understanding Mesothelioma Pathology Pathologists study body tissue, fluids, and cells that are surgically removed. The pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma involves looking at cells under a microscope. Cells can then be put into a category.  About three quarters of mesothelioma cases are epithelioid. Epithelioid mesothelioma is … Continue reading The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations »

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 »

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 »

Metastatic Mesothelioma: Does Chemotherapy Work?

metastatic mesothelioma

New research out of Pennsylvania suggested that not all people with metastatic mesothelioma will live longer with chemotherapy. Although chemotherapy is the primary treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, some types of metastatic mesothelioma appear to be less responsive than others. In some cases, the researchers say best supportive care may be a better option for preserving a patient’s quality of life. Three Mesothelioma Subtypes There are three histological subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The categories are based on how the cells look under a microscope. Cell type appears to influence how aggressive they are as metastatic mesothelioma. Cell type also factors into mesothelioma prognosis. Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common cell type. Epithelioid cells tend to lack uniformity and may … Continue reading Metastatic Mesothelioma: Does Chemotherapy Work? »

Needle Procedure Could Prevent Unneeded Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma

surgery for malignant mesothelioma

A minimally invasive method for cancer staging could prevent unnecessary surgery for malignant mesothelioma. The method involves putting a needle into the chest behind the breast bone. This area is called the mediastinum. The mediastinum contains critical lymph nodes. The presence or absence of cancer cells in these nodes can help determine whether a patient needs surgery for malignant mesothelioma. Now, a group of Canadian doctors say an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy procedure can provide as much information as more invasive options with less risk and pain. Staging Helps Direct Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma Most mesothelioma patients receive chemotherapy. If the patient is healthy enough and the cancer has not spread, the patient may also have surgery for malignant mesothelioma. Some … Continue reading Needle Procedure Could Prevent Unneeded Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma »

Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis

mesothelioma metastasis prevention

A UK study says prophylactic radiation of the chest wall is unlikely to prevent pleural mesothelioma metastasis.   Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. Tumors start on the lining around the lungs and can spread to the lungs and other organs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos cancer. Doctors sometimes use procedures that pierce the chest wall to help diagnose mesothelioma or to deal with mesothelioma side effects. Sometimes, new mesothelioma tumors can form along the instrument tracts or in the spot where the chest wall was pierced. When tumors spread it is known as mesothelioma metastasis. Some evidence suggests that radiating the chest wall after a procedure might prevent mesothelioma metastasis in that … Continue reading Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis »

Staging of Mesothelioma Could Change with Discovery of New Lymph Nodes

Staging of mesothelioma in surgery

A recent discovery at the University of Maryland could dramatically change how doctors handle the staging of malignant pleural mesothelioma. More accurate staging could lead to better mesothelioma treatment outcomes and longer survival. More than three quarters of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have the pleural variety. Pleural mesothelioma is the deadliest form of asbestos cancer. Most patients do not live longer than 18 months, even with aggressive treatment. Cancer staging is the process doctors use to determine how advanced the cancer is. Staging of mesothelioma is important because it directly impacts treatment decisions. But staging of mesothelioma – just like diagnosis and treatment – can be difficult. Lymph Nodes May Help in Staging of Mesothelioma The discovery was made by … Continue reading Staging of Mesothelioma Could Change with Discovery of New Lymph Nodes »

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