Friday, October 21, 2011


Mesothelioma is a cancer that is very uncommon. Abestos is the cause for this cancer. It is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium ,tissue lining, around different organs.  If it is found in the lungs then it is called pleural mesothelioma.  Peritoneal mesothelioma refers to the abdomen or stomach.  Finally, pericardium mesothelioma refers to the lining around the heart.

A physician needs to determine what is causing the abnormal symptoms one is experiencing in order to give a correct diagnosis. They must obtain a tissue sample for a pathologist to view.  To obtain a tissue sample a physician may do a needle aspiration or surgically remove tissue from the organs.

After visual inspection, the biopsy is processed and inserted into a mold with hot paraffin wax. When this wax cools, the specimen is locked in place and protected from contamination. Thin slices of this wax are then cut and placed under a microscope for inspection. To improve visibility of the cell tissue, various types of dye may be applied.
After this preparation process is completed, the histologist views the specimen with the help of a microscope. The histologist will be looking for unique characteristics of cancer cells in order to verify a cancer diagnosis. Different types of cancer exhibit unique cellular characteristics that usually allow for diagnosis of an exact cancer type.
So how does the histologist and pathologist determine the difference between sarcomatoid  and epithileal mesothelioma cell?  They use a immunochemical stain that take advantage of the antibody/antigen binding properties to alter the color of the cell in which binding occurs.

If you have any of the following symptoms and know that you have been exposed to abestos then you need to be seen as soon as possible.  They symptoms are difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough, weight loss and fever.

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