How is a Diagnosis of Mesothelioma Done?
Lymph Node Analysis
The patient may also have a mediastinoscopy. During this procedure a lighted tube is inserted under the sternum (chest bone) at the level of the neck and moved down into the chest so that the surgeon can view the lymph nodes and check them for mesothelioma.
Lymph nodes are bean-sized collections of immune system cells that help the body fight infections and cancers. Lung cancers frequently spread to lymph nodes, but mesotheliomas rarely do this. Examination of the lymph nodes allows the doctor to determine whether a cancer is still localized or if it has begun to spread. It can also aid the doctor in distinguishing lung cancer from mesothelioma.
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