Biopsies of the affected tissues are the only way to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma. These include;
- Thoracoscopy – Under general anesthesia, the oncologist surgeon inserts a small camera (endoscope) between the ribs to extract out the fluid, examine the appearance of the chest wall, and take tissue biopsies.
- Mediastinoscopy – This procedure is also done under general anesthesia. The surgeon implants a small camera at the base of the neck to examine the appearance and obtain biopsies of the lymph nodes.
- Thoracentesis – This procedure is done under local anesthesia. Using an ultrasound probe, a small, sterile needle is inserted between the ribs to remove the buildup of pleural fluid from the pleural cavity.
- Fine-Needle Aspiration – Under local anesthesia, a small needle is inserted between the 4th or 5th ribs to take a sample for biopsy while the patient is in the CT scanner.
Mesothelioma Blood Tests and Biomarkers
Blood tests, immunohistochemical markers, and biomarkers of the mesothelioma are not precise enough to detect cancer on their own. There are other supportive tests that can aid diagnoses, such as Mesomark, SOMAmer, and Human MPF.