Medical Technology in Cancer Management

A diagnosis of cancer is something that nobody wants to hear. Cancer research has led to many promising breakthroughs and information to assist people in disease prevention. In many cases, careful prevention may not stop a cancer diagnosis especially in people with a positive family history of the disease. The American Cancer Society sponsors many opportunities to help with research or raise money to fund finding a cure for cancer.

Cancer prevention by promoting a healthy diet, exercise and a regular checkup is important. The American Cancer Society sponsors research studies where individuals from all backgrounds with no prior history of the disease can help the cause to find a cure or help researchers learn how to prevent the disease. At, the American Cancer Society provides a wealth of information about the disease types, prevention and treatment. One such disease described is malignant mesothelioma.

Malignant mesothelioma affects the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity. These cavity linings help protect body organs and allow organs to move freely. Three-fourths of mesothelioma cases start in the chest cavity. A diagnosis of mesothelioma is rare and affects predominantly white males over the age of 65. The primary risk factor is asbestos exposure, after the small asbestos particles enter the lungs and cause changes in cell structure that lead to the disease. Advances in medical technology have allowed physicians to detect this cancer and others at earlier stages.

Medical technology has improved the outcome for patients. A mesothelioma prognosis depends upon when the disease was discovered. Using laboratory investigations to test fluid and tissue physicians can determine abnormal counts early on. Imaging studies offer chest x-rays and CT scans to view the inside of the body. Contrast with CT scans help better outline the body parts so that physicians can see any abnormality, and PET scans provide images to detect cancer or the spread of disease to other areas of the body. For further examination a biopsy might be needed. A needle biopsy detects chest tumors while an endoscopic biopsy looks inside body cavities and spaces. In the case of mesothelioma, a pulmonary function test is used to determine if the lungs are working to capacity.

Cancer management has come a long way over the years, and advances in medical technology have improved the outcome for many patients. Testing and therapy procedures have advanced to reduce the complications and unpleasant conditions as much as possible. Although the war on cancer is a constant battle, the effort required to win is worth the fight.

... written by Jillian 

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