Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and devastating cancer associated with long-term exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma treatment options depend on how far the disease has progressed when it is diagnosed. While the average lifespan after diagnosis is less than 18 months, early detection and aggressive mesothelioma treatment can substantially improve this prognosis.
Traditionally, there are three primary treatments for mesothelioma as well as other forms of cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Mesothelioma Treatment: Surgery
Surgery is most effective as a mesothelioma treatment if the cancer is detected before it has spread throughout the body. Depending on the size and location of the cancerous tissue, surgery may involve the removal of a small area of tissue, portions of the lung, or in some cases, an entire lung. Surgery may be paired with other mesothelioma treatments to ensure that any cells remaining after the procedure are destroyed.
Mesothelioma Treatment: Chemotherapy
Another common mesothelioma treatment is chemotherapy, which uses powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying. There are over 100 chemotherapy drugs in use today. The chemo drug, pemetrexed disodium (trade name Alimta®), has been shown to lengthen the average life expectancy of mesothelioma patients when used in combination with other drugs.
Mesothelioma Treatment: Radiation
Radiation is a mesothelioma treatment that uses targeted X-rays to destroy cancer cells and help prevent or slow the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. Like surgery, radiation is often used in combination with other modalities to enhance the potential of success.
Mesothelioma Treatment: Biologic Therapy
Biologic therapy, or immunotherapy, is a newer type of mesothelioma treatment that involves the use of special substances to improve the immune system’s ability to fight and eliminate cancer cells. Cancer vaccines are a form of biologic therapy, with several varieties currently under development. While they may not completely protect a person from cancer, vaccines ultimately may be able to minimize the use of more invasive mesothelioma treatments.
Are You a Victim of Asbestos Exposure?
If you’re currently undergoing mesothelioma treatment, call Sokolove Law today at 888-360-4215 to learn about your legal rights.