Mesothelioma is a very difficult cancer to diagnose and treat. It currently has no known cure, and researchers around the world invest countless hours of time trying to discover the right combination of treatments to help those with this aggressive form of cancer as a result. Those diagnosed with mesothelioma often face very invasive and expensive treatments.
Not only are the immunotherapy treatments and surgeries often used for mesothelioma quite costly, but the cancer diagnosis and treatment process for mesothelioma requires numerous expensive imaging tests. Thankfully, researchers out of Belgium have recently reported test results from a study that could help reduce the number of expensive and frustrating imaging tests that patients have to undergo.
What the new protocol might involve
Currently, medical professionals need to use advanced imaging technology like Computed Tomography (CT) scans when seeking to diagnose malignant mesothelioma and to track its progress while someone undergoes treatment. Each of those tests can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars and can be a bit of inconvenience for the patient, who may have to prepare for the test for hours before it actually occurs. Patients may have to ingest contrast dye before the test to help make imaging results easier to read, and most complain about the taste and consistency of contrast drinks.
Researchers in Belgium found that breath tests administered in conjunction with imaging tests accurately reflected the state of their body’s response to mesothelioma treatment roughly 85% of the time. A non-invasive breath test could be sufficient to indicate whether somebody’s mesothelioma has begun to progress or whether doctors have been able to stabilize it.
While more research is clearly needed before healthcare providers treating this very aggressive and deadly form of cancer change their practices, the possibility of replacing a slow and expensive test with a faster and cheaper test will appeal to many in the medical field and undergoing treatment for mesothelioma. Every major breakthrough and mesothelioma diagnosis and care put patients in a better position for their long-term prognosis.
Given how expensive treatment and testing for mesothelioma can be, many people both deserve and require compensation from the parties that exposed them to asbestos to cover their costs. Seeking mesothelioma compensation can potentially help people get the best possible medical treatment and provide support for their families during a difficult time.