An X-ray is a radiographic image used in diagnostic evaluation of bones and soft tissue. A chest x-ray is the most common use of x-rays in medicine, and is typically the primary source for diagnosing pleural mesothelioma. When an individual presents trouble or ragged breathing along with chest pain, an x-ray may be used to rule out a viral or bacteria infection like pneumonia or bronchitis, though those illnesses present similar symptoms to pleural mesothelioma.
Further, with effusions, the x-ray can detect the build-up of fluids. This can be common especially with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.
With peritoneal mesothelioma, a bowel obstruction or blockage may occur after the development of a peritoneum effusion. An abdominal x-ray is a useful diagnostic tool to view the potential blockage and where in the intestinal tract it is located.
X-rays are exceptional diagnostic tool, though it has limited uses. If a malignant mesothelioma metastasized and spread, detecting the variables in the soft tissue may be troublesome with an x-ray. In these cases, a CT or computed tomography scan is used.
Commonly known, x-rays emits radiation and has been labeled a carcinogen. Though mesothelioma treatment may use x-rays – known as radiotherapy – it is a common application.
The carcinogenic effects of x-rays are widely known, and precautions are always taken with individuals. As with any diagnostic imaging tool, the primary physician overseeing care for a mesothelioma patient may determine that the benefits of x-rays far out weight the potential, residual radiation. However, only under prolonged or protracted exposure to x-rays can be harmful.
As diagnostic tools, x-rays, computed tomography scans, positron emission tomography or MRIs use different methods to map the internal structure and for a thorough diagnosis, one or several of the imaging scans may be used together.
X-rays are a common diagnostic tool available for mesothelioma.
Advancements in treatment for mesothelioma are also rapidly progressing. Armed with these diagnostic tools and improved treatments, individuals battling malignant mesothelioma may have a better prognosis than that if they were diagnosed years ago.
The Merck Manual. X-Ray and Other Imaging Contrast Studies. Accessed on November 9, 2010.
The Merck Manual. Asbestos-Related Disorders. Accessed on November 9, 2010.
http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec05/ch057/ch057c.html - sec05-ch057-ch057c-1014h