Pericardial Mesothelioma Diagnosis requires a series of comprehensive medical examinations with imaging tests, such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs to understand the scope of pericardial thickening or mass and reveal its characteristics. Often the fluid which is built around the heart is extracted through a needle by the doctor for biopsy to analyze the cells.
Pericardial mesothelioma is one of the least common forms of this particular kind of cancer. The most common is pleural mesothelioma, followed by a form that targets the lining of the stomach. Only testicular mesothelioma, which is has been diagnosed in fewer than 100 people worldwide, is more unusual than the pericardial variety.
Mesothelioma can take up to 50 years to be accurately diagnosed, primarily because it remains asymptomatic during its development. People can be living with this disease for decades and have no idea. Even when the symptoms do make themselves known, pericardial mesothelioma is so rare that the treating physician may not suspect it immediately, so it is often difficult to diagnose.
Symptoms associated with pericardial mesothelioma usually result from the accumulation of excess fluid around the heart and the resulting thickening of the pericardial layers. Some of those symptoms include heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest pains, heart murmurs, a persistent cough, breathing difficulties, abnormal fatigue, fever, and night sweats.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Diagnosis Process
These symptoms can indicate a large number of other ailments, so arriving at a diagnosis of pericardial mesothelioma often requires a series of comprehensive medical exams. A doctor will also perform imaging tests, such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, which can reveal characteristic pericardial thickening or mass.
In addition, a doctor will biopsy the fluid that has built up around the heart, aspirating it through a tiny needle. These specimens will then be taken to lab, where the cells will be analyzed for Pericardial Mesothelioma Diagnosis.