The most common type of treatment for mesothelioma is surgical procedure, followed by radiation therapy & chemotherapy. Depending on the situation a mix of these treatments are used.
Treatment of mesothelioma will be contingent on what type of mesothelioma it is, at what stage has the cancer been diagnosed, & the patients age & health.
Surgery for Mesothelioma
The most common treatment for mesothelioma is surgical procedure. Depending on the spread of the cancer, the surgeon could remove a part of the lining of the chest or the abdomen and also some surrounding tissue. When the cancer has spread to a lung, the surgeon may remove part of one side of the lung in an operation known as pneumonectomy. In rare cases it becomes necessary to remove a part of the muscle below the lungs (diaphragm) which helps in the method of breathing.
Pleural mesothelioma may cause a liquid buildup in the chest which makes breathing very hard. The surgeon in this case will insert a catheter in to the chest to drain out the liquid. Medication could even be injected in to the chest to cease / reduce further liquid buildup.
Radiation for Mesothelioma
Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) makes use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells & shrink tumors. Radiation can be given through a radiation machine (known as outside radiation therapy), or by putting positive chemicals that produce radiation through narrow tubes in the area affected by the cancer (known as internal radiation therapy).
Combination Therapy for Mesothelioma
A combination of surgical procedure, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy is used in combination therapy. this might show to be more beneficial, but is very harsh on the body, is not suitable for everyone. Combination therapy is used only on patients who are young (in their 30s) & healthy, & can withstand the effects of this treatment.
Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma
Chemotherapy makes use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. The most common type is an injection given intravenously. Trials are on to find out the efficacy of injecting these drugs directly into the affected area.
Which Mesothelioma Treatment to Opt For
The treatment best suited will be decided by the surgeon. It will be contingent on the patients age, health, location and spread of the cancer.
In a minimum of cases the cancer is detected when it is late for a full cure. The patient will usually not survive more than 12 to 18 months after diagnosis. The surgeon will focus on ways to remove / destroy the cancer cells so as to slowdown further spread of the cancer.
Participating in these clinical trials could possibly help patients live longer, at the same time allowing surgeons to understand the disease better and possibly discover a total cure for mesothelioma in the near future.
There are definite other treatments that are obtainable and currently undergoing clinical trials. Your surgeon can guide you on these new techniques and considering all the factors you could choose on a definite treatment. although these new treatments use the latest technologies currently obtainable, a full treatment is not guaranteed. Using these new treatments, surgeons are trying to get the survival ratio after diagnosis up from the current 12 to 18 months, to approximately 5 to 10 years.