NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma - page 18

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2014
3
Testing for mesothelioma Tests to confirm mesothelioma
As the machine takes pictures, you may hear buzzing,
clicking, or whirring sounds. Earplugs are sometimes
worn to block these sounds. A computer combines all
pictures into one detailed picture. A CT scan is done in
about 30 seconds, but the entire process is completed
in 30 minutes. You may not learn of the results for a
few days since a radiologist needs to see the pictures.
Thoracentesis
To confirm if there’s cancer, a sample of tissue or fluid
must be removed from your body for testing. This is
called a biopsy. Thoracentesis is a type of biopsy that
removes a sample of fluid from the pleural cavity.
See
Figure 4.
For thoracentesis your skin will be cleaned
and numbed with local anesthesia. Next, a needle will
be inserted between your ribs into your chest to get
the fluid. You may be given an x-ray before the biopsy
to guide the needle into your chest and afterward to
check if the biopsy went well. The fluid sample will
then be sent to a lab to be tested for cancer cells. It is
difficult to diagnose mesothelioma just by testing the
fluid since cancer cells are often not seen.
Pleural biopsy
A pleural biopsy removes one or more samples of
the pleura. The tissue samples are then sent to a
lab to be tested for cancer cells. There are a few
ways that a pleural biopsy can be done. Options
include a CT-guided core biopsy, an Abrams needle
biopsy, an open biopsy, or a thoracoscopic biopsy.
Thoracoscopic biopsy is the preferred method.
CT-guided core biopsy.
A CT-guided core biopsy
uses pictures from a CT scan to guide a needle
into your body. First, your skin will be cleaned and
numbed with local anesthesia. Next, the needle will
be inserted through a small cut and guided into your
chest between your ribs. Then, the sample will be
removed by the sharp end of the needle and stored in
a hollow space within the needle.
Figure 4. Thoracentesis
Thoracentesis is a type of biopsy
that removes a sample of fluid
from the pleural cavity to test for
cancer cells. The pleural cavity is
the space between the two layers
of tissue lining around the lungs.
Illustration Copyright © 2014 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.
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