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Mesothelioma Treatments

There is no cure for mesothelioma, and mesothelioma symptoms do not emerge until years after exposure to asbestos or products with asbestos has occurred. This makes a proper diagnosis difficult to obtain. When the illness is discovered and treatment is administered, it is often too late to be very effective.

There are several conventional methods for treating mesothelioma. Doctors most commonly turn to traditional mesothelioma treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The treatment option selected depends on various factors, such as the types of mesothelioma and the sufferer’s age.

Surgery

There is no procedure to remove mesothelioma from the body, but doctors can perform surgery to alleviate some suffering. They can perform various types of surgery, such as removing part of the lung, total lung removal, draining fluid from the lungs or removing the lining that surrounds the organs.

Chemotherapy

Even though this can be successful in treating many forms of cancer, chemotherapy is a less common option than surgery in a mesothelioma case. Drugs can fight cancer by prohibiting the growth on cancerous tumors by stopping cell division. However, mesothelioma is not easily treated with chemotherapy because by the time symptoms show, the cancerous cells have embedded themselves deep into layers of dead cells. In addition, drugs do not work instantly, and mesothelioma patients don’t have much time.

Another problem associated with chemotherapy involves the chemical toxicity level, which can make the patient even more ill. If chemotherapy is administered, the drugs cannot target a specific area; instead, they often affect healthy cells and tissue.

Radiation therapy

Unlike chemotherapy, this treatment can target a specific area of the body, which avoids harming healthy cells. Radioactive sources are placed in the affected area, and radiation is emitted for an entire year.

Although this is not a cure for mesothelioma, it can reduce pain. However, in some cases, the size and location of the tumor make it impossible to just target the cancerous cells, so several treatments are required.

Other mesothelioma treatments

Multimodal—This involves using multiple treatment options.

Photodynamic therapy—Doctors prescribe a drug that specifically attacks the mesothelioma cells. A fiber-optic cable is inserted into the patient’s chest, and a light is turned on to interact with the drug. This interaction helps destroy the cancer cells.

Immunotherapy—This mesothelioma treatment involves boosting a patient’s immune system to help fend off the cancer cells. Essentially, the body’s natural defense is being enhanced during this treatment.

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