Mesothelioma treatment options are largely dependent on how the cancer has progressed. The oncologist and the patient have to work together to find the best treatment that both treats the mesothelioma and helps the patient to keep the quality of life desired.
The most common mesothelioma treatment options are surgery to remove the malignancy, the use of chemotherapy drugs and the use of radiation to directly attack the cancer. Depending on the spread of the mesothelioma, the doctor may decide that a combination of two or three of these options be used together.
If surgery is chosen as a viable mesothelioma treatment option, there are several types of surgery that can be helpful. In cases where the disease is caught early, a pleurectomy is sometimes performed. This is an attempt to surgically remove the tumor. A more aggressive type of surgery is extrapleural pneumonectomy. During this procedure, the surgeon removes a lung and some of the other related tissues.
Chemotherapy may be chosen to stop the cancer from spreading, to shrink the existing tumors or even to reduce the symptoms of the disease. Chemotherapy has several serious side effects, such as nausea and hair loss. Some patients seek out other treatments to avoid chemotherapy as a mesothelioma treatment option. Radiation and chemotherapy are often used together to aggressively fight mesothelioma. Whether or not a combination of these methods is used will depend largely on the doctor’s recommendation for treatment.
Mesothelioma mortality rates have been improving over the years. The many mesothelioma treatment options available have resulted in a declining mortality rate and hope for those who suffer from this rare disease.