Mesothelioma misdiagnosis why second opinions are critical gas up asheville

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Within mesothelioma itself, the types of mesothelioma cells vary. Patients may have epithelioid mesothelioma or sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Some patients have a mixture of the two. The cell type has a major impact on their prognosis and treatment options. The Wrong Stage

It is also possible to misdiagnose the stage of the cancer. Staging is a way to measure how far the cancer has progressed. It plays a central role in determining an accurate prognosis for the disease and what types of treatments are appropriate.

The earlier the stage of the cancer, the tougher it will be to diagnose. Finding it earlier gives you more treatment options and a better chance at long-term survival. It’s another reason why seeing a specialist early in the process is so important. Importance of Getting a Second Opinion

While it may seem unnecessary at the time, it is all too common for the initial symptoms of mesothelioma to be misdiagnosed as something less serious. Those with a history of asbestos exposure should always take any health changes seriously.

Getting a second opinion from a mesothelioma doctor also gets you access to pathologists who specialize in mesothelioma. Pathologists are the doctors who look at your biopsy samples in the lab. They’re the ones who ultimately confirm whether you have mesothelioma or some other cancer.

A specialist may use a thin needle to remove fluid for analysis. This procedure is called a thoracentesis for pleural patients and a paracentesis for peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Doctors search the fluid for certain types of cells and proteins to look for clues to a serious illness.

The next step for pleural patients is often a thoracoscopy, also known as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). This procedure usually requires an overnight hospital stay. A doctor inserts a small camera and a special probe through small incisions in the chest to remove a biopsy sample of tumor tissue.

There are several other types of biopsy procedures doctors may use depending on the location of the tumor tissue. After the biopsy sample is taken, a pathologist reviews it under a microscope to identify the cancer and its cell type. An Accurate Diagnosis Leads to the Best Treatment Options

The sooner your diagnosis is confirmed, the sooner a specialist can develop a treatment plan. Patients diagnosed in an early stage usually qualify for more aggressive treatment options. Aggressive treatment has a higher chance of extending life expectancy.

She was originally misdiagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Seeking a second opinion changed her diagnosis to peritoneal mesothelioma. She got the right surgery and chemotherapy for her true cancer and now enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Surgery to remove the tumor is considered the best treatment option for living longer with this disease. But it is typically only an option if the cancer hasn’t spread too far and the patient is in good overall health. Surgery is usually performed as part of a multimodal approach. Multimodal treatment combines surgery with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or another treatment modality. Clinical Trials

Experimental treatments have shown promising initial results for mesothelioma patients. Examples include photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy. Patients can access emerging therapies by participating in clinical trials. Eligibility usually depends on the stage and type of cancer. Palliative Treatment

If a patient’s cancer has progressed to a late stage and spread throughout the body, aggressive treatment may do more harm than good. Specialists can instead focus on palliative care. This kind of care involves alleviating symptoms and increasing quality of life. Complementary and alternative medicines may also benefit the patient.