Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Though there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are several ways of treating the disease, both palliatively and curatively. Doctors typically order treatments on a case-by-case basis, as disease progression, age, health and prognosis all play a role in the treatment options best for a particular patient. Depending on what treatment your doctor recommends to you and what stage of mesothelioma you begin treatment in, you may live longer than the eight to twelve month average life expectancy. Although every situation is different and your outcome may vary, early diagnosis and treatment is most beneficial.
Types of Mesothelioma Treatment
Treatments that are used to directly treat the cancer are known as curative treatments. While there are no treatments available to specifically treat mesothelioma, doctors are capable of surgically removing tumors and non-vital or spare organs that contain tumors, such as a lung, spleen or a portion of the liver or stomach. After tumor removal or in case tumor removal isn’t possible, traditional cancer treatment ensues. Chemotherapy uses special chemical combinations to slow the spreading of cancer cells in the body. It may also be successful in stopping the growth of mesothelioma tumors. Radiation treatment, on the other hand, uses targeted streams of radiation to confine the borders of mesothelioma cells and prevent them from spreading.
Hopefully, growing awareness of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma will result in medical advances in the near future that could significantly affect the diagnosis of those who suffer from the disease. Scientists are working diligently to find a cure, and consequently, you may have the opportunity to participate in a treatment study. Your participation in such studies is your choice, but be sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor before starting a treatment.
Palliative care is also given to mesothelioma patients, though it does nothing to prevent the progression of mesothelioma in the body. Instead, palliative treatments alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms associated with mesothelioma. It can include draining fluid build-up in the abdomen or chest cavity. Occasionally, doctors will implement a catheter shunt to consistently drain fluid from the chest area into the abdomen. This helps relieve some chest pains, tightening and may make breathing more comfortable. Doctors may use a Pleurodesis procedure to close-off the area in the chest near the lungs, preventing the return of fluid build-up. Other palliative care may include pain relief treatments and any other care intended to provide comfort to the patient.
Please note that while we care deeply for victims of mesothelioma, we are not doctors and the information listed here is strictly for educational purposes only. If you suffer from mesothelioma, be sure to discuss your treatment options with your doctor. However, we can help you if you would like to pursue compensation for the asbestos exposure that caused your condition. Our mesothelioma lawyers will work hard to bring those responsible to justice so you can focus your energy and attention on your health.