NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma - page 17

Chart 2. Tests to confirm mesothelioma
Chest CT (
c
omputed
t
omography) with
contrast,
Thoracentesis,
Pleural biopsy, and
Possible SMRP (
s
oluble
m
esothelin-
r
elated
p
eptide) blood test
15
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2014
3
Testing for mesothelioma Tests to confirm mesothelioma
Tests to confirm mesothelioma
To confirm if you have mesothelioma you will need to
be tested. The recommended tests are listed in
Chart
2
below and described in the following text. These
tests are used to find mesothelioma, see how far the
primary tumor has spread, and plan treatment.
Chest CT (
c
omputed
t
omography)
A CT scan is a type of imaging test. Imaging tests
take pictures of the inside of your body. A CT scan
takes many pictures of a body part from different
angles using x-rays.
See Figure 3.
A CT of the chest is recommended for mesothelioma.
Your doctors will be able see if tumors have formed
and the size of the tumors. They can also see if the
cancer has spread beyond the pleura.
A CT scan is easy to undergo. Before the test, you
may be asked to stop eating or drinking for several
hours. You also should remove any metal objects that
are on your body. You will likely be asked to change
into a hospital gown to wear during the test.
A contrast dye may be used to make the pictures
clearer. The dye will be injected into your vein. It may
cause you to feel flushed or get hives. Rarely, serious
allergic reactions occur. Tell your doctor if you have
had bad reactions before.
As shown in
Figure 3
, a CT machine is large and
has a tunnel in the middle. During the test, you will
need to lie on a table that moves slowly through the
tunnel. Pillows or straps may be used to keep you still
during the test. You will be alone, but a technician will
operate the machine in a nearby room. He or she will
be able to see, hear, and speak with you at all times.
Figure 3. CT scan machine
A CT machine is large and has a tunnel in the
middle. During the test, you will lie on a table that
moves slowly through the tunnel.
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