Managing Mesothelioma During the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Guidelines

Mesothelioma During the COVID-19 Pandemic

New guidance suggests that patients should continue to receive treatment for malignant mesothelioma during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two new reports include recommendations for hospitals to keep vulnerable patients safe. COVID-19 is especially dangerous for people with lung-related cancers like pleural mesothelioma. Their immune systems are not as strong as healthy people and their lungs are already damaged.  But two new reports suggests that it may be even riskier to put off treatment for lung cancers like mesothelioma during the COVID-19 pandemic.  How the Virus Could Impact Lung Cancer Patients Both of the new reports come from researchers in Pennsylvania. They focus on people with lung cancer rather than mesothelioma. But pleural mesothelioma is also a lung-related cancer. It carries many … Continue reading Managing Mesothelioma During the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Guidelines »

Breast Cancer and Mesothelioma: Case Study Illustrates Diagnostic Challenge

breast cancer and mesothelioma

A newly published Croatian case illustrates how challenging it can sometimes be to distinguish between breast cancer and mesothelioma. The case involves a 61-year-old woman with what appeared to be breast cancer. Further study revealed that what the woman actually had was pleural mesothelioma. The mesothelioma had spread to her breast.  Breast cancer and mesothelioma cells look similar under the microscope. But they are very different. The authors of the new report caution doctors against the “pitfall” of mistaking one for the other.  Breast Metastasis is Rare Pleural mesothelioma occurs on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. It is rare for mesothelioma to spread to the breast. The most common place for mesothelioma cells to spread is the lungs.  Women … Continue reading Breast Cancer and Mesothelioma: Case Study Illustrates Diagnostic Challenge »

Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer: These Biomarkers Can Tell the Difference

mesothelioma and lung cancer

Researchers in Canada say when it comes to distinguishing between mesothelioma and lung cancer, some proteins are more valuable than others.  The team has identified an especially important protein biomarker for mesothelioma. A biomarker is a compound in body fluid or tissue that can act as a signpost for disease.  Understanding the value of this particular protein as compared to other biomarkers may improve the testing process for mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer share many of the same characteristics. Both affect the lungs and both cause similar symptoms. But they are treated differently.  It is not always easy to tell these two cancers apart, even with high-level diagnostic tools. But the biomarker testing completed in Canada may make it … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer: These Biomarkers Can Tell the Difference »

Video-Assisted Pleural Biopsy for Mesothelioma is Not Always Accurate

video-assisted pleural biopsy

New research shows some patients are more likely to get an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis from video-assisted pleural biopsy than others.  Cancer doctors at Japan’s Hyogo College of Medicine conducted the new research. It included four hundred patients with suspected pleural mesothelioma.   The researchers found that certain conditions can affect the accuracy of video-assisted pleural biopsy. Patients with early stage mesothelioma, a lot of inflammation, or fibrous connective tissue around their tumors were more likely to be misdiagnosed. Biopsy for Mesothelioma Diagnosis VATS is the acronym for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. It is a minimally-invasive surgical technique to diagnose problems in the chest. Mesothelioma tumors grow on the membrane around the lungs (pleura). Doctors may use the video-assisted pleural biopsy technique … Continue reading Video-Assisted Pleural Biopsy for Mesothelioma is Not Always Accurate »

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 »

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