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Effusions & Cytology

Diagnosing Mesothelioma

The diagnosing of any disease is based on examining single cells as well as clusters of cells, known as cytology or cytopathology. Cytology is paramount in diagnosing cancer. When doctors conduct a biopsy, they usually take pieces of tissue as small as 1/16 of an inch or up to several inches. Cytology samples are usually too small to see unless you use a microscope, because unlike a traditional biopsy, cytology samples might only involve a single drop of blood or tissue fluid. There are other types of cytology samples though that take larger amounts of pleural fluid or peritoneal fluid (sometimes one quart or more).

Benefits of a Cytology Specimen:

  • Easier to obtain
  • More comfortable / less painful
  • Lower risk
  • Cheaper than a tissue biopsy

Although there are many benefits of a cytology specimen, they are not as accurate as biopsy results.

Cytology for Diagnosis and Screening

Cytology samples are used for two main purposes: for diagnosis and for screening.

Who might need cytology diagnostic tests?

You may qualify for a cytology diagnostic test if you are experiencing the symptoms of a condition like cancer. The cytology exam here can be used to confirm or rule out a cancer diagnosis.

Who might need cytology for screening?

Cytology for screening is also a form of diagnostic testing, but is available to people who have not yet experienced any type of symptoms. It is more of a preventative measure than a response measure.

Learn More About Diagnosing Mesothelioma

If you believe you or someone you love might be at risk for mesothelioma, you may want to consider cytology as an option for diagnosis or screening. 

Worthington & Caron, PC asbestos cancer attorneys help their clients connect with some of the leading mesothelioma physicians in the nation, so if you or a loved one was recently diagnosed, we invite you to contact us today.

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