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Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Accurate diagnosis is essential to choosing the best treatment for your stage of mesothelioma. For people who have known exposure to asbestos, most mesotheliomas are found when visiting a doctor because of breathing problems and other symptoms. If cancer is suspected, our doctors will gather your medical and family history and conduct a physical examination.

The following tests can be conducted to determine a diagnosis:

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • X-ray
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Echocardiogram
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Blood tests looking for osteopontin or soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs)
  • Fluid and tissue samples
  • Tumor sampling using needle biopsies, endoscopic biopsies or open surgery

Fox Chase Cancer Center radiologists and pathologists specializing in lung cancer review all available diagnostic tests in order to make an informed diagnosis. If mesothelioma is diagnosed, Fox Chase specialists will also conduct pulmonary function tests to see how well the lungs are working and whether the patient can tolerate additional procedures, such as surgery.