Mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused due to exposure to asbestos particles found in and around the surroundings, may be treated with suitable measures if diagnosed at an early stage. However, Mesothelioma treatment involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. No cure for mesothelioma exists; however, palliative care and alternative therapies can help improve the patient’s prognosis.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Mesothelioma treatment can be determined by considering the cancer stage, the primary site affected, and the cell type. Depending on whether the cancer is localized to the chest or has spread to the chest wall, the diaphragm, or the lymph nodes, and the age and overall health of the patient, the treatment are given. However, the three therapies given to treat mesothelioma are:
This can be done on people who are diagnosed with an early stage of cancer. Considering all the factors such as the age and health of the patient as well as the location of cancer, removal of the tumor or the mesothelial lining or one or more lymph nodes is possible via surgery.
Chemotherapy is the process of using chemical agents to treat diseases. Used in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy kills the remaining mesothelioma cells that the surgeon could not remove. However, chemotherapy is used In cases of pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is given either before the surgery so that the tumor gets shrunk and it becomes easier to be removed or after the surgery so that the recurrence of cancer for as long as possible.
By using targeted radiation, the mesothelial tissues can be shrunk so that it becomes easier to remove them through surgery.
In most cases, a mesothelial expert would suggest a multimodal approach towards treating the mesothelioma tumor. A multimodal approach involves the combination of all the ways mentioned above, such as:
Neoadjuvant therapy: For this, radiation is given to shrink the tumor size.
Primary treatment: This included removal of the tumor surgically.
Adjuvant therapy: This involves chemotherapy after the surgery to kill any remaining tumors that the surgeon could not remove.
Suppose there occur cases that the mesothelioma has spread significantly. In that case, the Mesothelioma treatment involves palliative treatment measures and is given so that it helps alleviate the pain, breathing problems, and the other cancer symptoms that may run the risk of lessening the quality of one’s life.
However, even in palliative treatment, one may receive chemotherapy and radiation, but significant surgery options would be avoided. For radiation therapy helps in soothing the pain and in correcting the breathing issues while chemotherapy shrinks the tumors, thereby helping in chest pains and night sweats.
However, the patients’ different Mesothelioma treatment options are also sought upon as these also help serve the purpose of providing comfort and providing relief to the patients. Alternative treatment measures involve massage therapy, acupuncture, or yoga.
Mesothelioma treatment options vary depending on the diagnosis stage.
Mesothelioma treatment options vary depending on the diagnosis stage. As it is always said the earlier, it is detected, the better; the same is the case with mesothelioma. However, a few treatment options include:
This being the most general type of treatment given. In this type, the surgeon surgically removes the tumors in the mesothelial lining. The type of surgery in mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer as well as the stage of cancer. However, in pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma cases, the surgeon removes the cancerous lining around the lungs and the abdominal organs.
However, not full assurance can be made that all the cancerous cells are removed, and hence depending on what stage cancer has developed, the doctors decide if the organs also need to be removed, but such a decision is made after a thorough check-up on the overall health of the patient.
However, if not entirely removed, the surgeons make sure that the tumors that are left behind are as small as possible.
Chemotherapy is claimed to be the most effective and viable form of treatment for cancers. Chemotherapy is effective in improving symptoms and shrinking the tumor size or slowing the growth of cancer. However, it may not result in curing cancer fully.
Radiation therapy involves using high-energy X-rays or other particles o destroy the cancer cells. External beam radiation happens to be the most common type of radiation treatment used in curing cancer and is also an option for mesothelioma treatment.
This involves the use of an external machine from which radiations are given to the patients. However, it becomes really challenging for the oncologist to use radiation as a mesothelioma treatment option in cases of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma because it may even lead to the damage of the organs, that is, the lungs and the abdominal organs.
However, in the case of pleural mesothelioma, radiation therapy can be considered extrapleural pneumonectomy, i.e., it can be used after surgically removing the lungs if there is a chance of any cancerous cells remaining in the body.
Multimodal Treatment involves combining all the methods mentioned above, thereby increasing the patient’s life expectancy suffering from mesothelioma. This Mesothelioma treatment option may not be widely used as most patients are reluctant to undergo this option.
This Mesothelioma treatment option offers the patients access to the emerging treatments. These trials, such as immunotherapy, gene therapy, etc., can be improvised and standard treatment options for providing better and efficient results and comfort levels to the patient.
These trials result from the side effects that occur after having gone either chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as certain patients may complain of falling prone to other diseases, or maybe having a bad headache, or are constantly fatigued.
Other options of trials include massage therapies, acupuncture sessions, or yoga sessions (as already mentioned) that can be done simultaneously with the regular treatment to ease out the patients’ discomfort.