The term ‘pathology’ refers to the study and diagnosis of disease through observation and testing of tissues, organs, and bodily fluids. Thus, mesothelioma pathology involves the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma from a biopsy sample of cancerous tissue or fluid.
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What’s the problem?
Malignant mesothelioma develops in the mesothelial cells that form the pleura, the peritoneum, and coverings of other organs. Most cases arise in the pleura, the thin membrane that covers the lungs and lines the chest wall; right-sided involvement is more common. In these cases, malignant mesotheliomas first look like multiple, tiny, round, gray, flat or slightly raised spots on the pleura. These spots fuse together over time, so that the pleural surface becomes progressively thicker and bumpy. The tumor spreads in all directions, forming a continuous thick, soft, ‘rind’ encasing the lung, and contracting it.
As the tumor advances, other nearby organs are invaded, including the lungs themselves, chest wall, the mediastinum and its structures, and ribs. There may be direct invasion through the diaphragm into the abdominal cavity, and so to the liver. In many cases, the tumor may also grow along wounds or tracts left by diagnostic or therapy procedures; this can be avoided by the use of radiation therapy at the time of the procedure.
Mesothelioma Pathology Report
Diagnosis from tissue is considered the standard on which treatment for mesothelioma is based. Tissue removed for biopsy undergoes a formal process of testing by the pathology lab. Understanding your pathology report is important in order to help you make informed treatment decisions and be comfortable with what you decide. Obtaining a copy of this report from your doctor or the hospital medical records department can not only make you more knowledgeable about your mesothelioma, but can also help keep you in control of your treatment. A number of factors are covered in a pathology report and may include the following:
- Personal Information – Such as the patient’s name, date of birth and the like.
- Clinical History – A history of the patient’s medical history pertaining to the disease.
- Clinical Diagnosis – Description of the potential diagnosis from the doctor’s initial examination.
- Gross Description – Description of the tissue that was sampled as well as the origin.
- Microscopic Description – Describes the tissue sample from microscopic evaluation, which can contain technical language to discuss with your doctor.
- Immunohistochemical Analysis – Depicts the chemical stains utilized to diagnosis the cancer and contains results that help determine the diagnosis.
- Diagnosis – This section describes the microscopic findings, stating if there is malignancy and gives the histologic type of the cancer.
Do I have a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in asbestos-induced mesothelioma lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.