People would prefer to never hear their doctor under the word cancer when diagnosing them. However, getting an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible opens up the best options for treatment. Especially for those with a potentially deadly form of cancer, like mesothelioma, a quick arrival at the proper diagnosis can give someone a longer and higher quality of life.
Standard imaging tests have not yielded the accuracy that researchers would like for the purpose of diagnosing mesothelioma. Doctors have historically relied on x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, both of which have certain limitations and can lead to inaccurate results.
However, researchers just published a study into a new form of imaging that may make it easier for doctors to determine a biopsy site and reach a diagnosis more quickly for patients with a specific form of mesothelioma.
What researchers tested
This new kind of imaging test, called F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT), was used to help determine the site for biopsy on 60 patients. Previously, difficulty with locating Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM) during biopsy has resulted in diagnostic difficulty. With an FDG-PET/CT, the doctors helping to diagnose these patients were able to accurate locate and diagnose MPeM.
A faster, more accurate and less-invasive (and painful) biopsy process is absolutely beneficial for those facing a diagnosis of a deadly form of cancer. Patients who know their own risks and medical advances can get the best treatment. You have to stand up for yourself in a medical environment or doctors may ignore your symptoms and rush to the wrong conclusion.
From driving home how serious and persistent your fatigue or pain symptoms are to earnestly talking to your doctor about your previous workplace asbestos exposure and concerns about the cancers it could cause, there are ways that you can push for a better outcome during the diagnostic process.
When you are up-to-date about certain risk factors, treatments and testing options, you can potentially make suggestions to a doctor, especially if they are a general practitioner who does not specialize in oncology. Tracking advances in treating mesothelioma is a smart decision for anyone at elevated risk of developing this fatal cancer of the organ linings or adjusting to a recent diagnosis.