Rare cancers and diseases are often difficult to diagnose. Imaging and radiology-assisted procedures can provide faster diagnoses and aid in more precise care. Cancers like mesothelioma illustrate how early detection and proper diagnosis can make significant impacts for patients. Mesothelioma and medical imaging should always go together.
Rare, But Deadly Serious
Mesothelioma and other rare diseases are often difficult to diagnose because of the way they “hide.” They often lurk behind symptoms that might suggest a more common, less dangerous disease. This camouflage is all the more dangerous because early detection is key when it comes to treating a disease like mesothelioma cancer.
Unfortunately, since asbestos fibers are microscopic, people often do not realize they may have been exposed to asbestos, either at work, during home renovations or even accidentally at points in their life. Therefore, it is important that the public know more about the disease and its potential symptoms and means of diagnosis.
It can take between 20-50 years for mesothelioma to show itself after first exposure to asbestos! If you have history of exposure to asbestos, make sure to inform your doctor, and consider looking into diagnostic options for early detection and treatment. As with most aggressive cancers, catching mesothelioma in early stages is crucial to provide patients the time to explore available treatment options.
Mesothelioma and Medical Imaging: Diagnosing the Disease
Doctors will often use a three-pronged diagnostic approach when it comes to mesothelioma. Generally, some form of imaging is the first exam ordered. After this, a doctor may order follow-up blood work or a biopsy. Mesothelioma specialists in particular also look into further diagnostic testing and scans necessary for clinical trials or advanced care options as well.
Most likely, the diagnostic process will begin with some kind of imaging. Look over the different types of imaging to better understand what exam your doctor may order for you. As with so much of modern medicine, imaging is on the front lines of your treatment as the first step in the process of diagnosis. While imaging cannot completely determine whether or not you have mesothelioma, it can be the crucial key in starting the early detection process.
Make sure you know the signs and think proactively! An imaging exam today could be a life or death decision.