Mesothelioma Diagnosis American Cancer Society: All You Need to Know

Discover the Best Ways to Diagnose Mesothelioma with the American Cancer Society

Greetings! If you are reading this article, you may be concerned about mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and other organs. At the American Cancer Society, we believe that providing information about mesothelioma diagnosis can help save lives. In this article, we will discuss various ways to diagnose mesothelioma and therapies that can help you manage the disease.

What is Mesothelioma and How is it Diagnosed?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of internal organs (mesothelium). Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma, which is why many people who work in industries where asbestos is prevalent are at risk.

Diagnosing mesothelioma can be a challenge as the symptoms are often non-specific and shared with other more common illnesses. The following paragraphs discuss different diagnostic techniques and modalities that physicians might use to diagnose mesothelioma:

Diagnostic Imaging Tests

Diagnostic imaging tests are used to produce detailed images of the body’s internal organs and structures, allowing doctors to diagnose mesothelioma. Some examples of diagnostic imaging tests include:

Diagnostic Imaging Test Description
X-ray An X-ray can reveal any abnormalities in the lungs or abdomen.
Computed Tomography (CT) A CT scan can produce detailed images of organs, bones, and soft tissues such as the lungs and heart.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) An MRI scan can produce detailed images of organs, bones, and soft tissues without using radiation.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) A PET scan can identify areas of the body with increased metabolic activity, which may indicate cancerous cells.


A biopsy is the most reliable way to diagnose mesothelioma. During a biopsy, a small tissue sample is taken from the suspected area to determine whether or not it is cancerous.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are not used to diagnose mesothelioma directly, but they can indicate that cancer is present. Blood tests often measure levels of certain biomarkers that indicate the presence of mesothelioma.

Pulmonary Function Test

A pulmonary function test may be performed to check how well a patient’s lungs are working. This test is important to determine how much lung tissue to be removed during surgery.

How to Find a Doctor Who Specializes in Mesothelioma?

Finding a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. Many doctors have experience dealing with patients who have mesothelioma, albeit not specializing in the field. However, it is best to consult a specialist to receive the best possible treatment plan.

What are the Best Mesothelioma Treatment Options?

The American Cancer Society recognizes that mesothelioma is a complex disease that requires a multidisciplinary approach. The following are some of the mesothelioma treatment options:

Radiation Therapy

Radiotherapy involves using high energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Among the other advantages, radiation exposes the patient to fewer side effects than other treatments.


Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancer cells. The treatment is systemic, which means it affects the entire body. It is also effective in managing mesothelioma symptoms, such as pain and shortness of breath.


Surgery involves removing as much of the cancerous tissue as possible, and the effectiveness of this approach depends on the type, location, and stage of the mesothelioma. Sometimes, surgery may also be combined with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

What are the Risks of Living With Mesothelioma?

Living with mesothelioma can be challenging and may have a significant psychological impact on patients and their families. The disease can lead to financial strain and may result in a reduced quality of life. It can also lead to other complications such as lung infections, pleural effusions, or blood clots.

How to Prevent Mesothelioma?

Avoiding exposure to asbestos is the best way to prevent mesothelioma. If you work in an industry where asbestos is present, ensure that you wear protective gear such as masks and gloves. If you live or work in an older building, ensure that asbestos is not present, and take necessary precautions.

Can Mesothelioma Be Cured?

Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma, but treatments can help manage the symptoms of the disease.


Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that affects many people worldwide. It is essential to diagnose mesothelioma early to ensure that it is treated effectively. By following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines and seeking the advice of a mesothelioma specialist, you can receive the best possible care and receive support to manage the disease.

If you need further information, do not hesitate to contact the American Cancer Society or your doctor. Remember, early detection through mesothelioma diagnosis is crucial to ensure that you receive the best possible care and improve your chances of survival.

A Disclaimer About Medical Advice

This article does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice.

FAQs About Mesothelioma Diagnosis American Cancer Society

1. What is mesothelioma, and what are its symptoms?

2. What causes mesothelioma?

3. How is mesothelioma diagnosed?

4. How do I find a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma diagnosis?

5. What are the best treatment options for mesothelioma?

6. How can I manage symptoms of mesothelioma?

7. What are the risks of living with mesothelioma?

8. How can I prevent mesothelioma?

9. Can mesothelioma be cured?

10. How long can someone with mesothelioma survive?

11. What resources are available for people with mesothelioma?

12. Can I file a lawsuit if I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma?

13. How can I support someone with mesothelioma?

Take Action Now

If you or your loved one is experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma or has been diagnosed with the disease, it is important to take action now. Contact your doctor or a mesothelioma specialist for advice on the best course of action. The earlier you seek treatment, the better your chances of survival.

We at the American Cancer Society are here to support you and provide you with the information you need to manage mesothelioma effectively. Remember, you are not alone, and we are here to help.