Pleural mesothelioma diagnosis

Pleural mesothelioma can be challenging to diagnose. The symptoms are often the same as those of other diseases and mesothelioma cells can look similar to other types of cancer cells.

The path to diagnosis usually begins with seeing your GP or going to a hospital emergency room, perhaps for shortness of breath, pain or another symptom. The doctor will examine you and take a history of your general health. If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, it is important to raise it at this time as many doctors won’t automatically look for mesothelioma.

The doctor will arrange some initial tests and probably refer you to a specialist, usually a respiratory physician (for chest symptoms).

You are likely to have quite a few tests and see several different health professionals before a diagnosis of mesothelioma is confirmed.

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This information was last reviewed in May 2017
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