NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2016
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
, 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.
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...
It is recommended
that you get checked for
mesothelioma if you have
had pleural effusion more
than once, have pleural
thickening, or both.