Mesothelioma: Cancer Screening

Posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 at 3:03 pm    

Mesothelioma: Cancer screening


Cancer screening is the process of testing for cancer in people who do not have any symptoms. Before any type of cancer screening is carried out there is need for doctors to have an accurate test to use that finds the cancer at an early stage. Screening is of great importance to treating cancers as it allows for early detection when the cancer is most likely to be cured. By the time symptoms appear the cancer will have grown and/or even spread, thus making it harder to cure.

There are four types of screening tests:

  • Physical exam this is physical examination of the body to check for any signs of extrusive signs of cancer, like lumps, or anything unusual. Also the patient’s history of health habits, illnesses and treatments is taken into consideration.
  • Laboratory tests these are sample tests on urine, blood and other body substances.
  • Imaging procedures these are procedures that show pictures or images of the inside of the body to detect any signs of growths or abnormalities inside the body.
  • Genetic tests these are tests that look for gene mutation that are linked to cancers.

Mesothelioma and Cancer Screening


Mesothelioma is an uncommon type of cancer and there is no widely recommended screening tests for it. Some doctors recommend imaging procedures as the best way to detect mesothelioma, such as the X-ray or Computed Tomography (CT) scan to look for changes in the lungs which may be signs of mesothelioma. However, it is unclear how useful these imaging procedures are in finding mesothelioma at an early stage.

In recent years doctors have found that people with mesothelioma have high levels of certain substances present in their blood. Such substances include osteopontin and soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs). Blood tests for these substances may someday be useful to the early detection of mesothelioma. However, there is no known reliable screening test for mesothelioma.

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