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14

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2016

2

Testing for mesothelioma

How is mesothelioma found?

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.

As the machine takes pictures, you may hear

buzzing, clicking, or whirring sounds. A computer

combines all pictures into one detailed picture. A

CT scan is done in about 30 seconds, but the entire

process takes 20 to 30 minutes. You may not learn

of the results for a few days since a radiologist needs

to see the pictures. A radiologist is a doctor who’s an

expert in reading imaging tests like a CT scan.

Figure 3

CT scan

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.

What to know...

ü

It is recommended

that you get checked for

mesothelioma if you have

had pleural effusion more

than once, have pleural

thickening, or both.