Treatment for Mesothelioma Lung Cancer

Treatment for Mesothelioma Lung Cancer

Patients easily breathe in asbestos due to its minute particles size. These particles then become embedded deep inside the lungs where they cause either scarring (asbestosis) or lung cancer. If these fibers travel from the lung into the blood stream, they may enter other parts of the body such as the peritoneum and the lining covering the abdominal cavity, and may result in abdominal mesothelioma.

Life threatening mesothelioma affects various sections of the serous membrane including the pleura (lung cavity), the peritoneum (abdominal cavity), the pericardium (heart sac), and very rarely the lining around the testicles. The disease is categorized based on the serous membrane affected by the disease (pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial mesothelioma) and are divided into three types based on cell type or histology that reveals the microscopic structure of organic tissues. These are:

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma Biphasic Mesothelioma Diagnosis

When an X-ray or CT scan shows signs of mesothelioma, a biopsy needs to be undertaken. This helps doctors to determine the extent of the malignancy. The intensity of the disease can be evaluated by finding out the stage of the disease, the location and sizes of the tumors along with a medical history of the patient. When the disease is in its advanced stage, treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment is ineffective if administered alone. A collective approach that includes two to three therapies together, such as using chemotherapy before surgery has shown tremendous benefit to the patients. To date, new medicines have also been introduced to target the genetic material directly.

Treatment Options

Although there is no complete cure for this disease, some conventional as well as innovative methods for treatment are now being administered to treat abdominal mesothelioma. The most common method of treating this disease is by using a combination of treatment options such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The usage of a combination of treatment methods or multiple treatment methods is referred to as the multimodality approach. New treatment options are being considered, currently under clinical assessment. A clinical trial involves a research study performed by doctors and then tested on patients. The common mesothelioma treatment options are:

Surgery: Various surgical treatments are used on patients with malignant mesothelioma such as: Wide Local Excision: This involves surgery on a particular area of the body in order to remove the tumor. Pleurectomy: this involves removing a section of the covering of the lungs, the lining of the chest and part of the outside surface of the lungs that affected by the disease. Extrapleural Pneumonectomy: involves the removal of one whole lung and part of the lining of the chest as well as the diaphragm and the lining of the sac around the heart affected by the disease. Pleurodesis: is a kind of surgical procedure using chemicals or drugs to make a scar in the area between the layers of the pleura or the membrane covering the chest cavity. This procedure helps to drain out the fluid collected with the help of catheter or chest tube and the chemical or drug placed into the space. The scarring is able to control the collection of fluid in the pleural cavity. Chemotherapy and Radiation

Chemotherapy or radiation therapy is administered on the patients after surgery to kill all cancer cells that might have been left behind. The treatment given after surgery to increase the effectiveness of the treatment and improve the chances of a cure is called adjuvant therapy.

Radiation treatment is usually combined with surgery where the radiation treatment uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells, restrict their growth and trim down the tumors. There are two types of radiation therapy. The first involves external radiation therapy where radiation is administered from outside the body and is aimed toward the area of the cancer inside the body. The other is internal radiation therapy that is administered by inserting radioactive substances in sealed in needles, seeds, wires or catheters inside the body.

During chemotherapy, the patient is given chemicals that stop the growth of the cancer cells by killing or stopping them from multiplying. In the case of systemic chemotherapy, the chemical or drug is either administered through the mouth in a pill form or injected into a vein or muscle where they enter the bloodstream and attack these cancer cells. For regional chemotherapy, the chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ or a body cavity such as the abdomen where the drugs attack the cancer cells in these specific areas

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