Diagnosed with Mesothelioma? Call 877-MESOTHELIOMA or Live Chat now for a Free Legal Compensation Consultation

Mesothelioma Biopsy Types

biopsy

If you are experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma, your doctor will likely start by discussing your work history, performing a physical exam, and ordering imaging tests. Although these steps will help identify whether you have additional signs of the asbestos cancer, your doctor will ultimately need to do a biopsy to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis.

A mesothelioma biopsy entails removing cells from the affected area of the body and examining them under a microscope.

There are three mesothelioma biopsy types that your doctor may consider:

  • Surgical biopsies are the most invasive and involve removing a large sample of the mesothelioma tumor or the whole tumor.
  • Endoscopic biopsies use a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end to examine the affected tissue and take a sample for testing.
  • Needle biopsies involve using a very thin needle to remove a sample of the tumor or fluid from the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, or heart sac.

Talk with your doctor about which type of biopsy procedure for mesothelioma would be most effective in making an accurate diagnosis in your case.

If you or a family member has already undergone a biopsy and been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should know that financial help is available to get your family through this difficult time.

Contact us today for more information on your legal options and for guidance on finding mesothelioma specialists near you.

Surgical Biopsies

Although they are the most invasive type of biopsy for mesothelioma, open surgical biopsies are often necessary for your doctor to make a definitive diagnosis. Your doctor may also decide to combine a surgical biopsy with treatment, such as pleurodesis or a pleurex catheter to reduce fluid build-up around the lungs.

Thoracotomy

Thoracotomy involves your surgeon opening up your chest through an incision in the chest wall. The doctor will then either remove a significant sample of the tumor or attempt to take out the whole tumor.

Laparotomy

Laparotomy involves a large incision in the abdominal wall so your doctor can examine the abdominal area, obtain a significant sample of the tumor, or try to remove the whole tumor.

Because surgical biopsies are much more invasive than needle biopsies and endoscopic biopsies, the recovery time is significantly more, often taking weeks or months.

Endoscopic Biopsies

Endoscopes are slender, tube-shaped instruments with a small video camera and light on the tip to help guide them. Your doctor may use an endoscopic biopsy to examine spots inside the body and take tissue samples.

Thoracoscopies

Thoracoscopies are used to examine and take samples of the pleural tissue lining the lungs and chest cavity. This procedure can also be used to take samples of lymph nodes in the area to check on whether the cancer is spreading.

Laparoscopies

Laparoscopies allow your doctor to examine the abdominal cavity and take tissue samples of any tumors.

Mediastinoscopies

Mediastinoscopies are used to take samples from the space between the lungs, known as the mediastinum. This is an area that contains lymph nodes, which your doctor may want to biopsy to determine whether the cancer has spread.

Bronchoscopies

Bronchoscopies may also be used in some cases to obtain samples of lymph nodes near the lungs.

Endoscopic procedures require general anesthesia and must be done in the operating room, but they are not as invasive as surgical biopsies.

Needle Biopsies

There are several types of needle biopsies, often referred to as fine needle aspirations, that may be used to help diagnose mesothelioma. For these tests, the doctor will numb a patch of your skin and then insert a thin needle. Some needle biopsies remove fluid that has built up in the body due to the cancer, and others take a sample of the tumor itself or nearby lymph nodes.

Thoracentesis

Thoracentesis is used to take a sample of fluid that has built up in the chest (a condition known as pleural effusion). This procedure can also be used to help ease a patient’s pain from the fluid build-up, which is a common symptom of pleural mesothelioma.

Paracentesis

Paracentesis is used to take a sample of fluid that has built up in the abdomen (a condition known as ascites). It can also help relieve a patient’s discomfort in the abdominal area, a common symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma.

Pericardiocentesis

Pericardiocentesis is used to take a sample of fluid from the pericardial sac surrounding the heart. This type of fluid build-up is common in pericardial mesothelioma patients.

All of these outpatient procedures can be done at your doctor’s office or in a hospital setting. Your doctor may use imaging tests such as a CT scan or ultrasound to help direct the needle. Although these are the least invasive types of mesothelioma biopsies, the results may not be conclusive enough to make a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Biopsy: Testing Fluid and Tissue Samples

Once fluid or tissue samples have been taken, your doctor will send them to a lab to be examined under a microscope. The lab tests can determine whether cancer cells are present, as well as whether it is mesothelioma.

Histology tests are used on tissue samples. They use special stains to identify asbestos cancer cells. And once a mesothelioma diagnosis is made, a histology report will also indicate whether the cancer cells are epithelioid, sarcomatoid, or biphasic (a mix of the two).

Cytology tests are used on fluid samples, although these results are often not reliable enough to rule out mesothelioma.

What to Do After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should discuss all your treatment options with your doctor to determine how you want to proceed. You should also discuss what financial compensation may be available to you and your family from the companies that manufactured and sold products containing asbestos, which is the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Contact us today to learn what types of mesothelioma compensation you may be entitled to.

Sources:

  • America Cancer Society: How Is Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
    https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html
  • American Cancer Society: Types of Cytology Tests Used to Look for Cancer
    https://www.cancer.org/treatment/understanding-your-diagnosis/tests/testing-biopsy-and-cytology-specimens-for-cancer/cytology-types.html
  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation: Mesothelioma Diagnosis – Biopsies
    http://www.curemeso.org/site/c.duIWJfNQKiL8G/b.8578837/k.50F8/Mesothelioma_Diagnosis__Biopsies.htm
  • University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine: A Patient’s Guide to Lung Surgery
    http://www.cts.usc.edu/lpg-thoracotomy-thethoracotomyprocedure.html
Download Your Free Mesothelioma Handbook & Treatment Guide

Free Mesothelioma Patient

& Treatment Guide

We’d like to offer you our in-depth guide, “A Patient’s Guide to Mesothelioma,” absolutely free of charge.

It contains a wealth of information and resources to help you better understand the condition, choose (and afford) appropriate treatment, and exercise your legal right to compensation.

HONcode Certified

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Office Location

Last Modified: April 17, 2019

Copyright 2019 MesotheliomaHelp.org
The information provided by Mesothelioma Help is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Our website does not host any form of advertisement.

Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization is sponsored by Belluck & Fox, LLP
Site by Consultwebs