The American Cancer Society (ACS) provides information on the available treatment options for mesothelioma. We will summarize some of this information here. Keep in mind that this website does not replace medical advice from your doctor. Always consult with your mesothelioma doctor for the best treatment advice.
Mesothelioma in any stage is difficult to treat because it tends to spread from the mesothelial lining along nearby surfaces, nerves, and blood vessels. This makes it very difficult, except in rare situations, to completely get rid of it with surgery and/or radiation therapy.
Before deciding on a treatment option, know the benefits and risks. Ask your doctor questions about these. Try to obtain a second opinion from a physician who has direct experience treating people with mesothelioma.
The ACS provides extensive information about possible mesothelioma therapy options, including:
- Surgery: Surgery may be performed in an attempt to cure the cancer when it is still in an early mesothelioma treatment stage. This type of surgery may be an option for patients who are in otherwise good health and the cancer has not spread too far to be removed completely. Palliative surgery may be an option if the tumor has already spread beyond the mesothelium and is difficult to remove completely, or if a patient is too ill for a more extensive operation. The goal of this surgery is to relieve or prevent symptoms, as opposed to trying to cure the cancer.
- Removal of fluid: Procedures such as thoracentesis, paracentesis, and pericardiocentesis can be used to remove fluid that has built up and is causing symptoms.
- Pleurodesis: This procedure may be done to try to prevent fluid from building up in the chest cavity.
- Shunt placement: A shunt is a device that enables fluid to move from one part of the body to another. For example, a pleuro-peritoneal shunt allows fluid in the chest to move into the abdomen, where it is more likely to be absorbed by the body.
- Catheter placement: This is another approach sometimes used to control the buildup of fluid.
- Radiation: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Mesothelioma chemotherapy (chemo) is treatment with anti-cancer drugs such as pemetrexed or cisplatin.
Additional information can be found on the ACS website or from a mesothelioma physician directly. If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma at any stage, you may be entitled to a settlement. Call Sokolove Law today for a free consultation.
Related Topics: Mesothelioma Treatment Stages, Mesothelioma Therapy