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Study: Low-Dose CTs vital in detecting mesothelioma in future sufferers

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in humans who have inhaled or ingested asbestos, a mineral type product that was typically used in construction or carpentry during the turn of the 20th century.

The fibers of the material are known to cause cancer cells to develop within the mesothelioma, or protective lining that coats many internal organs of the human body. Fortunately, the product is banned for use today in all new construction.

However, despite the prohibition against the use of asbestos today, those exposed to the product years ago are in danger and are developing mesothelioma as a result.

However, a popular technological advance could be the key to helping those exposed to the material.

Low-Dose Computed Tomography

According to the results of a new Canadian study, using what’s known as Low-Dose Computed Tomography, or LDCT, is valuable in detecting initial signs of mesothelioma in individuals exposed to asbestos who do not yet have symptoms.

LDCT is essentially an X-ray that produces tomographic images or slices of a specific area of the lung to diagnoses. “Low-Dose” refers to the very low amounts of radiation patients are exposed to during the procedure.

Specifics of the study

The study, recently published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, focused on participants who:

  • Were under the age of 62, and
  • Have had 20 years or more of asbestos exposure in an occupational environment, and
  • Were given LDCT screenings for lung disease, and
  • Did not exhibit signs of lung problems or mesothelioma at the time of the procedure.

The results showed that 44 percent of the total participants had parenchymal findings, or abnormalities within their lungs.

Breakthrough for mesothelioma sufferers

This result, according to experts, is a breakthrough in detecting early signs of mesothelioma in those exposed to the asbestos material.

This is because mesothelioma does not typically produce any noticeable signs within a person until it’s essentially too late and the cancer has metastasized.

With detection through LDCT, researchers hope that treatment can be prescribed for high-risk individuals to stop the cancer before it shows up or spreads.

Consulting with an attorney

Individuals who have been exposed to asbestos in years past or are currently suffering from mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, consulting with a mesothelioma attorney is advised. Your lawyer can talk with you about your specific situation and offer advice on available options and compensation under the law.

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