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Research points to possible test for early detection of malignant mesothelioma

Early detection of cancer is an important aspect of increasing the effectiveness of treatment. Cancer screening approaches and guidelines vary depending on the type of cancer at issue. Unfortunately, there are not currently any established screening tests for mesothelioma. In many cases, mesothelioma is not diagnosed until it is in its later stages. Part of the reason for this is that it is rare and causes symptoms which mimic other cancers and illnesses.

Hopefully that will change someday. Ongoing research at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center is showing that it might.  Researchers have apparently been working on potential test that could detect malignant mesothelioma early on by detecting the presence of a certain blood protein group known as HMGB1. 

HMGB1 blood proteins are released when cells die from exposure to asbestos fibers. Over time, the HMGB1 blood group can result in the growth of malignant mesothelioma through the production of HMGB1 protein variants. The idea behind the research, at present, is that by monitoring the blood levels of HMGB1 and its protein variants, it may be possible to determine who is at high risk of developing mesothelioma and to pursue earlier treatment.

Hopefully, one day, it will be possible to detect mesothelioma early and improve the effectiveness of treatment.  For now, those who have knowingly worked with asbestos in the past, and those who work or have worked in the fields of construction, manufacturing, and other high-risk occupations should be sure to inform their physician about their work history and maintain an ongoing relationship to monitor any potential symptoms of mesothelioma.

Those who are diagnosed with the condition should also work with an experienced attorney to ensure they are fully informed of their options for pursuing compensation and that they have advice and advocacy in holding liable parties accountable.

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