Early detection of cancer, when it is small and before it has spread, often allows for more treatment options. Some early cancers may have signs and symptoms that are noticed, but this is not always the case. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, if the disease is found in its early stages, treatment options and outcomes do improve. However, because the time between the first exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of mesothelioma is usually between 20 and 50 years, the disease is usually detected when it is advanced.
In addition to the time it takes for the disease to develop and symptoms, diagnosis is often delayed because these symptoms resemble other, more common conditions. Because people confuse these symptoms with other minor ailments, they will take their time to go to the doctor or ignore their symptoms altogether. Providing your doctor with a complete work history is essential to the diagnostic process. Doctors are unlikely to suspect the disease, unless the patient describes a job in which it may have occurred.
Usually, symptoms of mesothelioma develop 20 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Doctors diagnose more than 3,000 cases of mesothelioma every year. However, because mesothelioma is a rare disease with symptoms similar to those of more common and less serious conditions, doctors sometimes mistake it for a different disease or another type of cancer. Some blood tests, such as MESOMARK and SOMAmer, can detect signs of mesothelioma.
However, blood tests, biomarkers, and immunohistochemical markers for mesothelioma are not accurate enough to confirm a diagnosis on their own. Doctors use these tests to rule out other disorders and monitor the response to treatment. The SoMamer test can detect more than 1000 proteins in the blood serum. These proteins may have diagnostic value in the identification of mesothelioma.
Another test known as human MPF measures a protein called megakaryocyte potentiating factor. These tests have different accuracy rates judging by sensitivity and specificity. In the tests, the blood test for SOmer's mesothelioma correctly diagnosed 90% of patients. This sensitivity is important because for a blood test to be practical, it must accurately and reliably predict the disease.
Asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, take an average of 20 years to develop, and symptoms often resemble many other, more common diseases. In most cases, only a specialist can provide an early diagnosis of mesothelioma, timely treatment and a better prognosis. The average time from initial symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, to diagnosis of mesothelioma is approximately three months. The latency of mesothelioma, the period after exposure to asbestos and before initial symptoms occur, is about 20-50.
If you are looking for support for mesothelioma, contact our patient advocates at (85) 404-4592. According to the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), between 13 and 16% of patients diagnosed with early-stage mesothelioma will still be alive after 5 years. In contrast, 5% to 10% of patients with late-stage mesothelioma survive 5 years after diagnosis. Asbestos has a very long latency period. Symptoms of mesothelioma can take 20 to 50 years to be present.
Because of the long latency period of asbestos, many patients with mesothelioma are not diagnosed until the late stages of the disease. That's why early detection and medical intervention are important to extend life expectancy. The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is LDCT, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During an LDCT, an x-ray machine scans the body and uses low doses of radiation to create detailed images of the lungs to help find abnormal areas that may be cancer.
The American Cancer Society reports that, in a study of 50,000 smokers or former smokers aged 55 to 74, researchers found that people who underwent LDCT were 20% less likely to die from lung cancer than those who had chest x-rays. There is currently no reliable screening test for mesothelioma. At the moment, it may be difficult to diagnose mesothelioma. Common tests for lung disease often appear to be negative.
The MPF test is used to detect megakaryocyte potentiating factor (MPF), a protein found in the blood of patients with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma specialists order advanced imaging, such as a PET-CT scan, along with a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Experienced mesothelioma specialists and treatment centers will review your medical history, blood tests, images and biopsies to confirm your diagnosis and begin a personalized treatment plan. The most widely used staging system in the United Kingdom for pleural mesothelioma is called the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) system.
The most important thing for people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma to do is to take one minute and one day at a time. This restricts its use to a group of patients with an a priori and higher likelihood of mesothelioma than asymptomatic individuals exposed to asbestos. Receiving an early and accurate diagnosis of mesothelioma can ensure that you have access to a more meaningful number of treatment options available. Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, more tests are done to determine the size of the tumor and whether it has spread.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that most often begins in the sheets of skin-like tissue that cover each lung (the pleura). Diagnosing mesothelioma is challenging because many general practitioners and oncologists never find it or know the complexities of treating the disease. After a diagnosis of mesothelioma, the patient can begin treatment to help prolong life expectancy and improve survival. In addition, patients who can have mesothelioma surgically removed tend to have better outcomes than people who cannot have surgery.
Some results, such as a mesothelioma biopsy, may take one to two weeks, while blood test results may be available immediately. Since the symptoms of mesothelioma are usually vague and mild, doctors may initially confuse mesothelioma with a wide range of more common diseases. While it may seem impossible to detect mesothelioma in its early stages, there are ways to assess the risk. Misdiagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma may also include irritable bowel syndrome, ovarian cancer, or colon cancer.