Your doctor will perform a physical examination on you if you exhibit symptoms or signs that could point to mesothelioma in order to look for lumps or other unusual symptoms.

To check for anomalies, your doctor may request imaging tests such as a chest X-ray and a Computed Tomography (CT) scan of your chest or abdomen.


The only way to know if you have mesothelioma is to have a biopsy, a technique to remove a small part of tissue for laboratory analysis. Your doctor chooses the best biopsy procedure for you based on the damaged area of your body. These procedures include:

  • Need insertion of your chest or abdomen by the doctor may be used to remove fluid or a piece of tissue.
  • Tissue sample collection to view within your chest or abdomen, the surgeon may create a tiny incision and insert a tube with a video camera. To acquire a tissue sample, specialized tools can be inserted via the tube.

The tissue sample is examined under a microscope to determine the types of cells present and to determine whether the aberrant tissue is mesothelioma. Your treatment strategy is determined on the type of mesothelioma you have.

Determining the extent of the cancer

Your doctor may suggest additional testing after mesothelioma has been identified in order to determine whether the cancer has progressed to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.

These tests may be performed:

  • CT scans of the chest and abdomen
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Your cancer is given a stage by your doctor using the results of these tests. There are four phases of pleural mesothelioma, denoted by Roman numerals I through IV. The likelihood of the cancer being localized to the area around the lungs increases with a lower number, and it increases with a higher number if the disease has spread to other parts of the body.

As doctors develop cancer diagnosis and therapy, the cancer staging system keeps changing and getting more sophisticated. Your doctor chooses the best treatments for you based on the stage of your cancer.
Other kinds of mesothelioma do not have formal stages.


The course of your mesothelioma treatment will depend on your overall health as well as the stage and location of your malignancy.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma is frequently an aggressive disease, and there is no cure for mesothelioma. Typically, mesothelioma is discovered when it has spread to an advanced stage and cannot be surgically removed.

With your doctor, go over your treatment objectives. Some people will go to any lengths to treat their cancer, even if it means putting up with side effects in exchange for a small possibility of recovery. Others want treatments that allow them to live out their remaining days symptom-free as much as possible.


When mesothelioma is discovered early, surgeons strive to remove it. This might even treat cancer in some circumstances, but usually the cancer cannot be completely removed. In this case, surgery might be able to lessen the mesothelioma spread-related signs and symptoms.

These surgical techniques may be performed:

  • Surgery to decrease fluid buildup. Your chest may fill with fluid from pleural mesothelioma, making breathing difficult. To drain the fluid, surgeons place a tube or catheter into your chest. Medications may also be injected into your chest by doctors to stop the fluid from returning (pleurodesis).
  • Surgery for tissue removal at lungs. The tissue lining the ribs and lungs may be removed by surgeons (pleurectomy). While not a cure for mesothelioma, this surgery might ease the symptoms.
  • Surgery for lung removal with surrounding tissue. Pleural mesothelioma symptoms and signs may be reduced by removing the afflicted lung and the tissue surrounding it. This method also enables medical professionals to provide higher doses of radiation therapy to the chest as they won’t have to worry about shielding your lungs from harmful radiation.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma surgery. Surgery is sometimes used to remove as much of the peritoneal mesothelioma as possible. Surgery can be performed either before or after chemotherapy.


Chemotherapy kills cancer cells by using chemicals. A mesothelioma that cannot be surgically removed may shrink or develop more slowly with systemic chemotherapy, which circulates throughout the body. Additionally, chemotherapy may be administered either immediately following surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) to lower the risk of cancer recurrence or prior to surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) to facilitate an operation.

In the event of peritoneal mesothelioma, chemotherapy medications may also be heated and injected directly into the abdominal cavity (intraperitoneal chemotherapy).

Radiation therapy

With radiation therapy, a specific area of your body is targeted with high-energy beams from sources like X-rays and protons. After surgery, radiation may be used to eradicate any cancer cells that remained. In cases where surgery is not an option, it may also aid in reducing the symptoms and signs of advanced cancer.

Other treatments

Other treatments may be used to treat mesothelioma in some circumstances. Other therapies comprise:

  • Immunotherapy. Your immune system is used in immunotherapy to combat cancer. Because cancer cells create proteins that make immune system cells blind, your body’s immune system may fail to combat your cancer. Immunotherapy affects that process in order to work. If other therapies don’t work, this one might be a possibility.
  • Targeted therapy. Drugs used in targeted therapy target particular weaknesses seen in cancer cells. Although targeted therapy may be suggested by your doctor depending on the results of tumor DNA testing, these medications aren’t frequently utilized to treat mesothelioma.