There are fresh claims by scientists that they have come up with a better test for cancer mesothelioma the asbestos related cancer. The cancer is linked to asbestos but doesn’t develop immediately it can be years after the contact with asbestos that it develops but when it does the sufferer has limited life expectancy. One of the main problems as to why the disease is a killer is it simply doesn’t respond well to chemotherapy and its location in the surface of the lung is also hard to treat.
The disease mainly occurs in plumbers and joiners, asbestos proteins in buildings which get into the lungs cause the disease but it has been unexplainably found in people who don’t seem to have any past with asbestos. Due to the nature of the disease not developing straight away scientists predict the worst is yet to come and reckon it will peak in the UK in 2013 with 2,200 cases.
The Current test takes place in laboratories by scientists, the test called pleural cytology is criticised for not being terribly accurate.
They then looked at levels of the protein meothelin – which is released in high quantities in the pleural fluid of most patients with mesothelioma. The levels of protein were found to be 6 times higher than normal lung cancer and ten times higher than benign conditions.
There are numbers of invasive procedures which are involved in diagnosing the cancer, these are obviously very stressful but the new test will help reduce these and put the patient in a hospital bed much sooner.
The diagnosis being much quicker can help patients make their asbestos claims, usually by the time it is diagnosed they find themselves ill to find an asbestos solicitor, this can sooth the pain of the family and then the solicitors can do their job effectively.
Dr Paul Beckett of the British Thoracic Society said: “A simple test which can exclude the diagnosis without resort to more invasive methods would be welcomed, allowing a more streamlined diagnostic pathway both for those with and without the disease.
This new test is yet to be put into action but it’s said that if it is implemented it may actually help in decreasing the fatality rate.