Mesothelioma Treatments-What are your options?

Mesothelioma Treatments-What are your options?

There are several options available for the treatment of mesothelioma. The most recommended forms of treatment are: a} Surgery b} Chemotherapy c} Radiotherapy. There are however other less popular, less commonly used forms of treatments, these include gene therapy, immunotherapy, photodynamic therapy and others.

Some of these other forms of treatment are still in the stage of experimental and clinical trials usage.

The cancer is usually treated by the use of combination therapies involving the use of more than one type of therapy. Most times, surgery is used to remove as much of the tumor as possible and this is followed with chemotherapy and or radiotherapy to kill the remaining cancer cells. This particular combination of surgery and chemotherapy with radiotherapy is one of the commonest forms of therapy adopted for treatment.

Alternative therapies are also sometimes used in combination with the traditional treatment options. Many victims seek to add alternative therapies like TENS therapy, acupuncture, or massage to their treatment.

When you or your loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will have work with your doctor to choose the best treatment plan for you. To make the right choice, you have to know all the options available to you. Having a good knowledge of your chosen treatment option often helps you{the victim} and your family cope and cooperate better with the treatment.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is notoriously resistant to most forms of treatment. Most of the presently available forms of treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy only offer palliative relief and not a cure.

Many scientific studies and clinical trials have tried find a cure for mesothelioma, but all have failed to come up with a cure. Because mesothelioma is a rare cancer, attracting the necessary funding for the research to find a cure has been difficult, but recently as result increased public awareness about the disease, more people and specific interest groups are beginning to show more interest in supporting research for mesothelioma cure. Once good funding is available for research, the hope for a cure will become a tangible reality in the not too distant future.

Treatment Options

1-Surgery

There are three main types of surgical treatments for mesothelioma: a}diagnostic surgery b}curative surgery c}palliative surgery. Some types of surgeries fall into more than one category.

Thorancentesis{removal of fluid from the pleural space}which may be a diagnostic procedure may also be used as a form of palliative treatment to provide symptomatic relief.

Curative surgery is aimed at removing if possible all cancerous cells from the body. Curative surgery is only recommended for the early stages of the cancer, that is stage 1 and stage 2.Unfortunately however mesothelioma is not usually diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage that is stage 3 and stage 4, when curative surgery is no longer relevant.

2-Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is an effective treatment option but it has a lot of side effects. Chemotherapy involves the use of anticancer drugs which are usually given intravenously. Examples of such drugs are Alimta and Cisplatin. Anti cancer drugs target and kill cancer cells by inhibiting their rapid and haphazard multiplication and division. These drugs are however not specific in their mode of action and they end up killing some normally dividing healthy cells causing most of their unpleasant side effects associated with use of anti cancer drugs. Newer chemotherapy drugs are generally more effective than the older drugs. A new form of chemotherapy called heated chemotherapy which involves the perfusion of heated chemotherapy drugs into the peritoneum following surgery is used for the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma.

3-Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is the use of high energy rays to kill the cancer cells. This form of therapy is usually used in combination with surgery. Radiotherapy may also be used as a sole therapy to relieve pain and some other symptoms associated with mesothelioma. Radiotherapy generally gives short term symptomatic relief. There are two types of radiotherapy therapies:

a-External beam radiation which is the commoner type in which radiation beam is directed unto the affected area of the body from an external source.

b-Brachytherapy or internal radiotherapy; This is a newer type of radiotherapy in which tiny radioactive rods are implanted into the tumor area of the body to provide a strong concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor while doing very little damage to the surrounding normal healthy tissues.

4-Photodynamic Therapy

This is a form of highly specialized and specific form of treatment that uses light energy to kill cancer cells, it is used to treat skin cancers, some types of lung cancers, and pleural mesothelioma. This form of treatment is however not suitable for patients with metastasized cancers, it is most effective in patients with localized form of mesothelioma. Photodynamic therapy involves giving the patient an intravenous solution of a medication that makes the cancer cells highly sensitive to a particular kind of light. One to two days after their treatment, the patient is exposed to light, and the cancer cells that have absorbed the medications are killed.

Bello kamorudeen.For more information on the types of treatment of mesothelioma go to http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com


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