NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2014
Tests for staging
Chest and abdominal CT
If you have not already had a chest CT scan, it should
be done along with a CT of your belly area (abdomen).
Contrast should be used if possible. Contrast is a dye
put into your body to make clearer pictures during
imaging tests. These scans can show your doctors
where the tumor is, how big it is, and if it has spread.
See page 15 for more information about CT scans.
MRI is an imaging test that uses radio waves and
powerful magnets. An MRI scan of your chest is
another way to see if the cancer has spread to your
chest wall, spine, diaphragm, or blood vessels. The
scan may cause your body to feel a bit warm. Like a
CT scan, a contrast dye may be used.
VATS is a type of biopsy, also called thoracoscopic
biopsy. For this test, at least two small cuts into your
chest are made between your ribs. A thoracoscope
to see inside your chest is inserted through one cut.
A thoracoscope is a thin, tube-shaped instrument that
has a light and camera lens for viewing. Surgical tools
are inserted through the other cuts to remove samples
of the pleura, lymph nodes, or other tissue. VATS is
done while you are under general anesthesia. This
test is recommended if imaging tests suggest that
there is mesothelioma in the pleura (tissue lining the
lungs) on both sides of your chest or in the peritoneum
(tissue lining the abdomen).
Laparoscopy is a type of surgery used to view the
inside of the belly area (abdomen) and take biopsy
samples of organs and tissues. For this surgery, a tiny
cut is made in your abdomen. Then, a laparoscope
is inserted through the cut. A laparoscope is a thin,
lighted tube with a lens for viewing and tools to
remove samples of tissue. This surgery is done while
you are under general anesthesia. Laparoscopy is
recommended if imaging tests suggest that there
is mesothelioma in the pleura on both sides of your
chest or in the peritoneum.