How Can I Get Treatment?
Dealing with mesothelioma is not easy. Like other types of cancer, mesothelioma can require intensive treatment, ranging from radiation and chemotherapy to surgery. The type of treatment will depend on a number of factors, including your individual diagnosis, the type and stage of your mesothelioma, and your overall physical health.
Treatment is also influenced by whether or not the cancer is contained or has spread to other parts of the body. If it has not spread, doctors may opt for a more aggressive, combined approach to directly target the cancer, which is known as multimodal therapy.
If, however, the cancer has spread, medical professionals typically opt for palliative treatments, which can help to alleviate breathing problems, pain and other cancer symptoms that negatively impact your overall quality of life.
One treatment that is used in mesothelioma cases is radiation therapy, which can help to soothe pain and correct breathing difficulties. Because tumors can press on nerves, veins and airways, mesothelioma can often grow uncomfortable for patients. Shrinking tumors through radiation therapy can also make them easier to surgically remove.
Radiation therapy is a noninvasive method to mesothelioma, and uses high-energy rays to directly target the cancer. In most cases, radiation is paired with other treatment methods to help manage tumor growth. Radiation therapy may help patients with reducing the physical pain of asbestos-related cancer.
Another common form of treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy. Delivered through an IV, chemotherapy drugs are designed to attack and kill cancer cells. However, chemotherapy drugs don’t just target cancer cells – they also target healthy cells, which means that patients often feel worse after having treatment. That is a key reason why many cancer patients choose not to undergo chemotherapy.
Although side effects from chemotherapy can be challenging, they do eventually wear off over time for most patients. Many who opt for chemotherapy also experience notable improvements in their condition. Only a qualified medical professional can examine your individual diagnosis and determine whether or not chemotherapy is a recommended treatment option.
If mesothelioma is diagnosed early enough, doctors may suggest surgery, which can help remove all or much of the tumor(s). This depends on a number of factors, including the location of the tumor. Depending on where the tumor is situated, surgery may be done to remove one or more lympth nodes, the mesothelial lining, or organs, including all or a portion of a lung.
In cases where cancer is contained to the lining surrounding the lungs or abdomen, aggressive surgery may be possible. Such surgery can potentially add years to a mesothelioma patient’s life, but surgeries like pleurectomies and pneumonectomies are quite invasive and often require weeks of hospital stays and rehab. Chemotherapy and radiation may be used in conjunction with surgery to eradicate the cancer cells that are left behind after surgery.
There are also surgical procedures that are more palliative and less traumatic. These are reserved for cases where a mesothelioma patient may not be healthy enough to cope with the strain of significant surgery, or if the patient’s cancer has already spread. Unlike aggressive surgery, which can remove cancerous tumors, these types of surgeries are meant to alleviate some symptoms and help you feel better. These surgeries can also be accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy.
Although each mesothelioma treatment option offers its own benefits and challenges, cancer specialists often elect to take a more comprehensive approach – a tailored mix of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery – known as multimodal therapy.
With this approach, medical specialists from each field work to put together a plan that suits you and your diagnosis. In cases where patients opt for multimodal therapy, it may be possible to control the mesothelioma. However, this requires that all members of your cancer care team are working together.
Your Legal Approach
If you or someone you know is suffering from mesothelioma, the attorneys at Antion McGee Law Group, PLLC can help. Our firm represents clients affected by mesothelioma, including those who have been at risk for asbestos exposure through their home or place of work. We can work with you and your family to review your occupational history, which can help pinpoint where dangerous asbestos exposures occurred. From there, we can work with you to make sure that those responsible for your condition are held legally accountable. Our legal acumen and premier investigative skills mean we leave no stone unturned when it comes to building a strong case for our clients.
No matter what the circumstances are surrounding your mesothelioma case, our firm is prepared to help. To schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case with a member of our legal team, contact our law office today at (304) 807-0739. If you are unable to travel to our offices, our attorneys are always happy to travel to you, including to your home or hospital.