Which medical procedures are currently being used to treat mesothelioma?
Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are all treatments currently approved for use against mesothelioma. Increasingly, doctors are finding that a combination of more than one therapy is most effective. This type of multipronged treatment approach is called multimodal therapy, and it is individualized for each patient.
How do I know which treatment option is right for me?
Your medical team will be able to advise you on which treatment is likely to be most effective given your age, health, and stage of the disease.
I am uncomfortable with the treatment my doctor is recommending. Do I have any options?
Get a second opinion if you’re uncertain about what your doctor is recommending or if you feel uncomfortable and unsure about the proposed treatment plan. This is very common and may open up new treatment options for you. Or at a minimum, it can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have pursued all possible options.
What can I expect from each of the different treatment options?
The type of treatment you receive and the way your body reacts to it varies widely. We do know that for most patients, chemotherapy can cause nausea and extreme fatigue, while invasive surgery such as an extrapleural pneumonectomy requires a longer recovery period than the less invasive pleurectomy/decortication. For more detail on the different types of treatment available, as well as the potential side effects, download our free Mesothelioma Patient Booklet now.
How can I learn more about experimental treatments?
At any given time, major cancer centers across the U.S. are conducting research studies—also known as clinical trials—to increase their understanding of mesothelioma and how best to combat it. Patients must meet certain selection criteria before being admitted to a clinical trial, and there is no guarantee that the experimental treatment will work. Even so, it can be gratifying to participate in a clinical trial, knowing that you are helping to further doctors’ knowledge about this complex disease.
How will treatment affect my daily life?
There is no question that living with mesothelioma comes with challenges. You will likely be fatigued, may not have much of an appetite, and will be spending a lot of time in hospitals and doctors’ offices. At a time when you are not feeling well, you may suddenly feel pressure to get your home and legal affairs in order. This is the time to reach out to family, close friends, and your community at large to ask for help with such tasks as meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, bill paying, and more. You will be happily surprised to realize how eager people are to lend a hand. More suggestions on ways to get ready for treatment can be found in our free booklet.