What Are My Mesothelioma Treatment Options?
Options for malignant mesothelioma treatment fall into two broad categories: curative and palliative.
Curative treatments are used to help extend a patient’s lifespan, while palliative treatments exist to manage symptoms and reduce discomfort. Doctors generally use the same mesothelioma treatments to achieve curative or palliative goals.
The top 3 types of treatment for mesothelioma are:
In most cases, a mesothelioma specialist will prescribe a combination of treatments (called multimodal therapy) in a customized plan designed to help you live as long as possible.
Video Summary: Registered Nurse Amy Fair discusses standard mesothelioma treatments and how patients can pick the best option. View Transcript.
What do I need to know about mesothelioma treatments?
It’s really important for your doctors, your oncologists, your surgeons to explain to you what stage you’re in – to explain to you what type of mesothelioma you have. You have to understand your disease, you have to understand the type of disease, and you have to understand the stage of the disease. Many people have to make decisions as far as quality and quantity of life.
What are my treatment options for mesothelioma?
The standard treatment options for mesothelioma is a surgical approach. In pleural mesothelioma, they will offer the patient a pleural decortication where they strip the lining of the lung. They may offer to the patient a pneumonectomy and that is removing the whole lung, not just the lining. They may offer radiation to shrink the tumor first. Also, radiation gives them palliative care if that tumor is pressing on vital organs or nerves and causing pain, they may want to go in and do radiation first to shrink that tumor. Then of course there is the chemotherapy approach, and again sometimes multiple modalities are used. Surgical approach, radiation, and chemotherapy. It is a clinical individual fit for that particular person.
How can I decide what treatment is best for me?
When deciding what treatment modality is best for you it’s important to communicate with your surgeon, to communicate with your oncologist. You need to get an understanding on their thoughts if you’re a candidate for chemotherapy. Are you a candidate to have surgery? Although all that is very important, the individual decision for what type of therapy lies within the mesothelioma patient.