Diagnosing mesothelioma, we look at the disease here, is part of the battle against surviving the disease. Early diagnosis greatly increases your survival chances. At the very least, early diagnosis can extend your life expectancy.
Doctors have made a variety of advancements over the last few years. Here are just some of the improvements that have been made in diagnosing mesothelioma.
Most new ways of diagnosing mesothelioma come through diagnosing certain biomarkers through blood tests. CT scans are helpful, but they’re often expensive and act as a form of second stage diagnostics.
MESOMARK is changing the way mesothelioma is diagnosed. It’s a type of test that looks for Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides (SMRP).
SMRP is something released by mesothelioma cells. If SMRP is elevated, there’s a high chance you have the disease.
What’s most exciting is the MESOMARK system is an easy way to determine just how a patient responds to different treatments.
This is a tremendous advancement. Paul Kraus, the world’s longest mesothelioma survivor, of Surviving Mesothelioma believes MESOMARK is just one such treatment that could have a dual purpose in living with the disease.
For those suffering from malignant mesothelioma, the fibulin-3 Test is a new biomarker that could assist in its early detection.
So far, studies into the fibulin-3 test have proven that this biomarker test is effective. Additionally, it can also be used repeatedly to determine how the disease is progressing.
Lung Fluid Tests
In mesothelioma types that affect the lungs directly, it could be possible to take fluid directly from the lungs of those who are at risk.
The lung fluid can then be tested for different proteins and enzymes that may be linked to mesothelioma. Different levels of these proteins within lung fluid could tell doctors a lot about mesothelioma.
Breathing Test for Detecting Mesothelioma
One of the most exciting developments in mesothelioma diagnostics is a new breath test. This new breath test could help to detect mesothelioma by taking a sample of the patient’s breath.
The device taking the breath sample can then detect certain biomarkers in the breath sample to point towards either further diagnostic tests or a full diagnosis.
So far, there’s little information on what exactly the breath test will be looking to detect and how accurate the device will be. However, over the coming years, this will be a much easier test to carry out and may be able to be purchased as a home test.
For those who worked in certain professions where they may have been exposed to asbestos, this gives them the opportunity to regularly examine themselves so they can detect mesothelioma early.
Last Word – Why Early Diagnosis is So Important
The longer it takes to diagnose mesothelioma the lower the chance of survival. With so few obvious symptoms, mesothelioma can easily be misdiagnosed as something else.
It’s taken so long to come up with these latest breakthroughs as there were so few cases, due to mesothelioma’s long latency period. Only now is mesothelioma research receiving the funding it needs.
Do you know someone who would have benefitted from early mesothelioma diagnosis?