Getting the right diagnosis means getting the best treatment, and increasing the chances for the best outcomes.
Tumors of the mediastinum can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms and pathology of the disease closely resemble those of common conditions such as a cold of flu. For this reason, misdiagnosis can frequently occur.
Tests to initially assist in the diagnosis of mediastinal tumors may include:
Only a biopsy (in which a small tissue sample is taken) can definitively confirm a diagnosis of a malignant mediastinal tumor. Your doctor may order one of the following procedures:
After your mediastinal tumor has been diagnosed, additional tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. The process used to find out if cancer has spread outside the mediastinum is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the spread of the cancer in order to plan treatment.