Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Treatment for Mesothelioma
When it comes to receiving treatment for mesothelioma, patients have a number of options available to them. The most commonly used today are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Doctors may also decide to utilize a multifaceted approach, something that is known as multimodal therapy.
The type of treatment recommended will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The type and stage of your diagnosis
- Your overall physical wellness
- Other unique circumstances in your diagnosis
Treatment will differ depending on whether or not the cancer has spread. For example, in cases where the tumors are contained and have not spread to other parts of the body, doctors may elect to take a more aggressive approach.
However, in situations where the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, medical professionals may decide to stick to a series of palliative therapies with the hope of alleviating pain, breathing difficulties or other symptoms that have an adverse affect on your health and overall feeling of wellness.
Types of Treatment
Like other forms of cancer, mesothelioma treatment relies on chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery (or a combination of the three). While there are benefits and drawbacks to each approach, only a qualified medical professional can work with you to determine whether or not a certain treatment will benefit your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Chemotherapy is one common treatment for mesothelioma patients. These drugs are intended to eradiate cancer cells, but it is important to note that they do not only attack cancer cells – they attack healthy cells as well. That’s why so many patients feel ill after treatment. In many cases, patients may feel worse after receiving chemotherapy and that is a key factor in why many elect not to undergo therapy.
While side effects stemming from chemotherapy treatment can present additional physical and emotional challenges, these negative effects may wear off as time goes on. In fact, many patients even notice a considerable improvement in their condition. Chemotherapy is not used in all mesothelioma cases, so it is best to consult with your cancer care team to assess whether or not these drugs can help you. In some cases, doctors may elect to combine chemotherapy with any other treatment options.
Another common treatment method in mesothelioma cases is radiation, which is often used to correct breathing problems and soothe pain. Since mesothelioma tumors tend to press on veins, nerves and airways, breathing and pain can become significant problems for mesothelioma patients. With radiation therapy, it’s possible to shrink tumors to the point that they can be surgically removed.
Using noninvasive high-energy rays to focus on the cancerous tumors, radiation can be paired with other treatment options to help manage tumor growth. Although it does not carry the same negative side effects of chemotherapy, radiation is not used in all mesothelioma cases, since it can be toxic to many internal organs. It can also damage DNA while it attacks cancer cells.
In cases where the mesothelioma is diagnosed early enough, doctors may elect to perform surgery to remove all or a portion of the tumor(s). However, this depends on several factors, most importantly the location of the tumor and a patient’s overall physical health. Once doctors have determined where the tumors are situated, they may be able to perform surgery to remove the mesothelial lining, affected organs, or lymph nodes.
If the mesothelioma is limited to the exterior lining of the abdomen or lungs, doctors may be able to perform an aggressive surgery called a pleurectomy or pneumonectomy. It’s also possible to follow-up surgery with chemotherapy and radiation, which can help to minimize any malignant cells that remain post-operation.
Although surgery is utilized in more aggressive treatment plans, there are also procedures appropriate in less traumatic, palliative cases. Such cases typically involve patients that are not healthy enough to sustain the physical strain of major surgery, or in situations where the tumors have spread. Unlike surgeries that seek to remove tumors, palliative surgeries can be used to alleviate the symptoms of mesothelioma, ultimately helping to make patients more comfortable. These types of surgeries are also commonly accompanied by chemotherapy and radiation.
Not every treatment approach is suitable for every mesothelioma case. Sometimes, a mixed approach is best. This strategy is known as multimodal therapy. In these cases, professionals from your cancer care team work together to formulate a plan that best suits you and your individual diagnosis.
Are you or a loved one dealing with news of a mesothelioma diagnosis? If so, there are legal options available to you, including filing a legal claim to collect compensation from those responsible for your asbestos exposure. That’s where the compassionate, dedicated legal team at Antion McGee Law Group, PLLC comes in. Our mesothelioma attorneys in West Virginia focus on asbestos exposure cases, and can provide the expertise necessary when bringing these claims in a court of law. We are prepared to work with you and your family to establish a detailed employment and exposure history, a critical process when pinpointing asbestos exposures.
Let us advocate on behalf of you and your family. We are committed to protecting your future interests, and to working with you on your road to treatment or recovery. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we encourage you to schedule a preliminary consultation with a member of our legal team. To get started, call our office today at (304) 807-0739. Our team will travel to meet with you at your home or hospital or wherever is convenient for you.