Common Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. It’s an aggressive type of cancer that affects the lungs and abdomen. Mesothelioma can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms often resemble other respiratory conditions, like chronic coughing or chest pain. If you work in an industry where you are commonly exposed to asbestos, it is recommended that you meet with a doctor to discuss your symptoms and work history. Below, we explain some of the available treatment options for mesothelioma.
Many patients debate between surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation for their treatment options. In some cases, medical professionals have found that combining several forms of treatment increases the chances of prolonging a patient’s life. This form of customized treatment is called “Multimodal Therapy.”
There are multiple types of surgeries available for people that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Depending on your overall health, your doctor might recommend one of the following surgeries to remove the cancer and possibly extend your life:
- Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP): You must be in good health to qualify for this aggressive surgery. The procedure involves removing one lung, part of the chest’s lining, diaphragm, and lining of the sac around the heart. Potential outcomes include increased life expectancy and pain relief.
- Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D): This surgical option is very complicated and evasive. In this procedure, the membrane coating of one lung is removed along with lining of the chest wall, mediastinum, and diaphragm. Likely outcomes include pain relief and increased quality of life.
- Cytoreduction with HIPEC (CS/HIPEC): This invasive and complex procedure involves the removal of all visible tumors. Additionally, heated chemotherapy drugs are circulated throughout the abdominal wall. Outcomes include significantly improved quality of life and greater life expectancy.
Also known as “chemo,” this widely known kind of treatment features the administration of anti-cancer medication over specific periods of time. The drugs involved in the procedure are very strong, so doing this kind of therapy in cycles allows a person’s body to adequately rest and recover. Unfortunately, healthy cells are often affected during chemotherapy. Side-effects include hair loss, loss of appetite, mouth sores, and nausea.
Because mesothelioma tends to be a more widespread form of cancer, radiation therapy is not always the preferred treatment option. The procedure directly targets cancer cells by using high-energy forms of radiation. It is sometimes used after surgery to clean up missed cancer cells.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek legal representation. Call (800) 294-6637, or contact our team of Southfield mesothelioma attorneys to find out how we can assist with your case.