Asbestos Cancer Diagnosis

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Asbestos cancer is a kind of cancer that occurs when the asbestos particles attack the body. This particles attack the respiratory tract, create inflammation in the lungs and cause breathing problems. Once these particles get stuck inside the respiratory tract, the body tries to throw them out which leads to the widespread of this tumor. This results into an uncontrollable division of cells. These cells grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body. This cancer is also known as mesothelioma. This cancer is very difficult to cure and should be treated at early stages. If not treated at early stages, it can further result into lung cancer. This cancer is majorly seen in people such as construction workers, people who stay near construction sites, electricians, plumbers and ship builders. This tumor is closely associated with lung cancer and researchers are working hard to find out the link between asbestos and lung cancer. This tumor is of contagious type and also occurs in people who don't have a direct exposure to such particles on an occasional basis. A successful asbestos cancer diagnosis at early stages increases the survival of the patient.

Asbestos Cancer DiagnosisThis cancer is caused when the particles of asbestos get stuck in lungs and the digestive system. Sometimes, these particles are swallowed and get stuck into the digestive system. This cancer can be seen in all age groups. However it is majorly seen in people in the age group of 30 to 45 years research conducted by American Institute of cancer research shows that more than 2,500 people are diagnosed with this cancer every year. Asbestos cancer symptoms depend upon the nature, characteristics and symptoms of the disease. Treatment of asbestos cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Some of the symptoms of asbestos cancer are as follows:

  • Breathing Problems
  • Anemia
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Digestion Problems
  • Pain in lower back
  • Wheezing
  • Massive chest pain

Asbestos cancer diagnosis:

Asbestos cancer diagnosis is done by conducting several blood tests X- rays, CT scan MRI and several other laboratory tests. Special tests for its diagnosis include biopsy, thorascopy, laparascopy and thoracentasis.


In this test, a tissue of the tumor is removed from the body. This tissue is examined under a microscope with the help of certain chemicals. This test helps the doctor to identify whether the tissue is benign or malignant. It also helps to identify the nature of the tumor , the kind of cancer the extent of its spread throughout the body.


It is divided into two types:

  • Primary thorarscopy
  • Video thorarscopy

In primary thorascopy, a general anesthesia is given and the disease is resected within thorarcic cavity and pleural cavity with the help of cytoscope.

In video thorarscopy, a flexible endoscope is inserted in the body through intercoastal incision. With the help of this technique different pictures are developed. These pictures help to determine the location of tumor and understand the extent of spread of this tumor.


Laparoscopy is diagnosing the tumor with the help of laparoscope. Laparoscope is an instrument which is similar to a miniature telescope. In this procedure, carbon dioxide gas is emitted into the body through the lower abdomen. This gas increases the space between the organs as it travels. This helps the surgeon to analyze the tumor and to what extent it has spread throughout the body. At the end of the procedure, this gas is taken out.


In this procedure, a local anesthesia is given. Then a needle is inserted through the chest wall and the pleural fluid is collected. This fluid is later sent for testing. This test helps to examine the reason for extra fluid and helps to determine the tumor. This test is risky and can also lead to piercing of lungs.

Diagnosing this cancer rightly is considered as a very difficult task. A research conducted by World Cancer Council shows that there are only 40 percent chances of diagnosing this disease correctly.

Thus, the above article explains various methods of diagnosing asbestos cancer which include biopsy, thorascopy, laparoscopy and thorasenticis out of which biopsy and laparoscopy are widely used. It also helps us to understand the importance and symptoms of the disease.

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