There is no cure for mesothelioma but, many patients wish to undergo mesothelioma treatments to combat the cancer and to ease suffering. Some patients want to participate in clinical trials conducted to test experimental treatments and medications before they become available and are recommended for general use. Clinical trials are extremely important in the quest for a mesothelioma cure. Information learned from study results really help doctors and scientists get closer to the discovery of a cure for mesothelioma. Let’s take a quick glance at some of the treatments that are currently out there for those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Surgery may be performed on those diagnosed with mesothelioma for a couple of reasons: to try to cure the disease or for the patients comfort and to improve the quality of life. However, because mesothelioma is almost always discovered in its advanced stages, surgery to cure the illness is not usually an option. Physicians might attempt to take out the cancer and some of the surrounding tissue in to try to stabilize the disease and relieve pressure.
Radiation causes the least side effects and is often easier on the patient than chemo. There are a many different types of radiation therapy today for mesothelioma sufferers. External beam radiation is the preferred type to treat mesothelioma. This type of radiation comes from a machine outside the body and is aimed toward affected areas. Usually applied five days-a-week for over a month, this type of radiation is mostly used for the patient comfort it makes breathing easier, reduces pain, lessens bleeding, and difficulty swallowing. It has no effect on the mesothelioma tumors. This type of therapy may also be used along with surgery. Some victims are not strong enough for surgery or radiation so chemotherapy is often recommended.
Similar to radiation, chemo (chemotherapy) is no cure for mesothelioma but it does help with relief from the terrible symptoms of the illness. As doctors continue to experiment different types of chemotherapy drugs, sufferers continue to benefit from their research and, one day, chemo may do more to prolong the lifespan of a mesothelioma patients. Chemo is taken in pill form or injected. In the case of mesothelioma victims, the drugs are given into the chest cavity or into the abdominal cavity. Physicians will combine two drugs for better results.
Alternative therapies are treatments for an illness or its symptoms that are not part of the normal treatment usually recommended by doctors for patients with the disease. These might include the use of vitamins, roots or herbs or participation in treatments such as acupuncture, voodoo, massage or hypnosis.