If a doctor suspects mesothelioma is present, they’ll conduct a physical examination and order imaging scans. This includes X-rays and CT (computerized tomography) scans of the abdomen and chest.
A biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma. A biopsy is when doctors remove tissues or fluids for laboratory testing.
Chemotherapy is the preferred treatment option for those diagnosed with mesothelioma. It involves drugs that kill cancer cells or stop them from growing and can increase life expectancy and improve symptom relief. It is an important part of multimodal treatment, which a large number of patients receive.
Mesothelioma specialists often combine chemotherapy with other treatments, like surgery or radiation. The chemo treatments used vary depending on the stage and type of mesothelioma. Doctors may use chemotherapy that shrinks tumors prior to surgery or adjuvant chemotherapy to destroy any mesothelioma in the microscopic form that remains after surgery.
In addition to chemotherapy, patients with mesothelioma may be prescribed other kinds of medication to treat side effects or help in swallowing or breathing. Some of these medicines include a drug known as Bevacizumab, a targeted cancer therapy that blocks the growth of new blood vessels which feed cancer cells. Another drug, Cisplatin, is a chemotherapy agent that has demonstrated results in boosting survival rates in some mesothelioma patients.
Radiation is used to treat mesothelioma but is only used as a complementary therapy. The reason for this is that mesothelioma can be difficult to remove surgically, and the amount radiation required to shrink a tumor can cause complications.
A more recent innovation in the field of mesothelioma treatment is gene therapy and cryotherapy. Cryotherapy uses cold temperatures to target and kill cancer cells. It is a relatively new mesothelioma treatment and has proven effective in other types of cancer. It is a viable option for those that aren’t candidates for surgery or wish to avoid the possibility of repeated recurrence. Gene therapy is a type of treatment that involves inserting new genes into cancer cells to help fight cancer. Doctors have created inhalable versions of both therapies, which allow mesothelioma patients to take the medication via an asthma inhaler.
The treatment options available to a patient will also depend on the general health of the person and the location of mesothelioma and if it is ongoing. Recurrent mesothelioma refers to a condition that returns after initial treatment. Those who experience mesothelioma that is recurrent could benefit from clinical trials that test new treatments or combinations of existing ones.
Doctors who treat mesothelioma frequently employ radiation therapy to shrink or kill tumors prior removal. Mesothelioma patients can also benefit from this treatment along with chemotherapy. Radiation uses high-energy X-rays or particles to eliminate mesothelioma cancer cells and may prolong the life expectancy of patients. Mesothelioma experts are trained to administer treatments as safe as they can and reduce the negative effects.
The stage of mesothelioma and the general health of the patient are crucial factors when deciding the best treatment options. Mesothelioma specialists will consider all treatment options available to ensure the best chance to cure and to improve the quality of life.
Many people who have mesothelioma pleural undergo surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This multimodal approach has the potential to significantly increase survival. Mesothelioma specialist surgeons can remove tumors and surrounding tissue during a thoracic mesothelioma operation such as pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) or extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP).
Chemotherapy can be used to kill cancerous cells following surgery, and can prolong the life expectancy of patients with pleural melanoma. Doctors can use chemotherapy drugs such as pemetrexed and cisplatin to decrease the amount of mesothelioma cancer cells in the body and to reduce symptoms.
For patients suffering from mesothelioma peritoneal treatment, surgeons treat the tumors using an operation known as cytoreductive surgical and a heated chemotherapy wash (HIPEC). The surgeon removes the tumors from the abdominal cavity. Then they apply a chemo wash heated directly to the area affected. For peritoneal mesothelioma, HIPEC can prolong the survival time by more than four months.
Immunotherapy is a method to improve the immune system of a patient, so that it can fight mesothelioma with greater effectiveness. These drugs can either be administered either orally or via an IV infusion. During immunotherapy, doctors will be able to monitor the patient’s condition and make sure there aren’t any other medical conditions or medications that can cause complications.
Mesothelioma researchers are trying to develop new mesothelioma treatments to prolong the lifespan and ease symptoms. Some of these treatments are available through clinical trials. Clinical trial participants can try experimental drugs under controlled conditions, which can improve the likelihood of a mesothelioma cure. Some of these emerging treatments include photodynamic therapy gene therapy, restorative p53 treatments and epigenetic therapy.
Mesothelioma can be treated using surgery to remove cancerous tissue. It is usually performed in conjunction with other treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is crucial to talk to an expert in mesothelioma about surgery as it may not be suitable for everyone.
Before surgery, you will undergo a medical examination to assess your vital signs and health conditions. Your doctor will inquire about what you’ve consumed and eaten as well as an account of your symptoms. You’ll also be given a chest X ray, electrocardiogram, and other tests such as blood tests. This information will help your surgeon determine if you’re healthy enough to undergo surgery.
During the procedure an anesthesiologist will administer medicines to make you relax or make a region of your body so you don’t feel the process. The surgeon will remove all cancerous and non-cancerous tissue from your body. If mesothelioma is located in the chest wall, this may include taking out part or all of the pleura which lines your lungs. This is called a pleurectomy/decortication (P/D).
Certain patients with stage IV mesothelioma or another type of mesotheliom aren’t able to undergo surgery. This could be due to the extent to which the cancer has grown into nearby tissues, its subtype or if the patient isn’t in good enough health to undergo an operation. The patient may be treated by alternative therapies instead of surgery.
Clinical trials for mesothelioma testing new treatments like photodynamic therapy, immunotherapy, and gene therapy. These are different from traditional treatments because they target cancer cells without affecting normal cells. A mesothelioma expert can help you decide whether to use the latest treatment or conventional treatments.
After your treatment plan is in place, your doctor will be watching you for any complications. Mesothelioma is a slow-growing type of cancer, can return even after being treated or removed by surgery. Recurrences can be local, meaning in the same region of the body, or they could expand to other areas of the body, such as to the lungs and brain.
A mesothelioma specialist can go over your treatment options and suggest other therapies that can alleviate pain or other symptoms. These therapies could include palliative care, minor surgeries as well as low doses of chemotherapy and radiation, or alternative medicine.
mesothelioma advanced treatment who are undergoing mesothelioma treatments are drained due to their disease and its side effects. Palliative care can help improve the quality of life of patients with mesothelioma, as well as their loved ones.
The goal of mesothelioma palliative care is to manage depression, anxiety, pain fatigue, and other symptoms that can be triggered by the disease and its treatments. The treatment could include counseling and support groups that aid the patient and family members cope with the emotional burden.
Mesothelioma can cause respiratory issues that include chest pain and difficulty breathing. As part of palliative care, doctors can prescribe medication to ease these symptoms. They can also perform the thoracentesis process, where they use a needle to drain fluid from around the lung. A similar procedure, known as pleurodesis, closes the gap between the outer lining lining of the lungs and the chest wall, stopping any further accumulation of fluid.
Chemotherapy, a treatment commonly used for mesothelioma, can cause nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are typically controlled by medication such as antinausea drugs or sedatives. The doctor can also recommend complementary therapies to relieve these symptoms. These include massage, acupuncture and other complementary practices.
Some mesothelioma sufferers experience constipation or a persistent cough. To alleviate these side effects doctors may prescribe laxatives or suppressants. Mesothelioma patients could also benefit from hydration strategies, such as drinking more fluids or using a hand-held fan to decrease sweating.
A pericardial cancer may cause chest pain, fatigue, and breathlessness. As part of a palliative care plan, a doctor may perform pericardiocentesis. This procedure is where fluid buildup from a pericardial effusion is removed to alleviate these symptoms.
Patients can receive palliative care at any point in their mesothelioma treatment. Studies have shown that palliative treatment can improve the quality of life for patients if it is initiated earlier. The hospital or cancer center treating a patient might have information on local facilities that offer palliative treatment.