Treatments of Mesothelioma Cancer

Treatments of Mesothelioma Cancer

There are treatments for all patients with malignant Mesothelioma. However, the treatment option that is chosen for a particular patient depends on a number of factors such as the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, patient’s age and general health, the extent of the damage, etc. treatment is generally of three kinds,

1. Surgery in which case the cancerous portion is removed from the body.
2. Radiation therapy (using x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells).
3. Chemotherapy (using drugs to fight the cancer).

Surgery is the physical way of treating Mesothelioma in which the cancerous cells are physically removed. Surgery is a common way to treat malignant Mesothelioma. The doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. Sometimes, if the cancer has spread widely, a lung can be totally removed in a surgical procedure called a pneumonectomy. Along with the lung, part of the diaphragm, is also sometimes removed, diaphragm is the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing. This will temporarily solve the problem of difficulty in breathing.

Radiation Therapy
In radiation therapy high-energy x-rays are used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. There are two kinds of radiation therapy, external radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy. When the radiation comes from a machine outside the body it is called external radiation therapy. When materials that produce radiation, are put inside the body through thin plastic tubes in the area where the cancer cells are found, it is called internal radiation therapy.

To relieve symptoms and control pain, the doctor may use a needle or a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the chest or abdomen. The procedure for removing fluid from the chest is called thoracocentesis. Removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis. Drugs may be given through a tube in the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating. Radiation therapy and surgery may also be helpful in relieving symptoms.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken by pill, or it may be put into the body by a needle in the vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream, travels through the body, and can kill cancer cells throughout the body. In Mesothelioma, chemotherapy may be put directly into the chest (intrapleural chemotherapy).

Treatment options for people with Mesothelioma have improved significantly. This is more so in cases where the diagnosis has been early and treatment has been aggressive. Many people are treated with a combination of the above-discussed therapies and this is known as multimodal therapy. Mesothelioma is a fatal disease and so far no cure has been found for the disease. However, treatments can reduce pain and improve lung function. Easily administered pain killers are now used to control pain.

Rob Mellors helps people find out about mesothelioma and mesothelioma treatment

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