Mesothelioma Treatment Types
There are three primary treatment types available to mesothelioma patients.
Surgery is the most effective way to control mesothelioma and prevent it from spreading.
During surgery, doctors cut open the chest or abdomen and physically remove all visible tumor masses and, in some cases, surrounding tissues or organs.
Doctors have developed surgical procedures for different types of mesothelioma. Which surgery (if any) will be used depends on what type you have and how far it has spread.
In most cases, it is only used if the patient is strong enough to fully recover.
To stop cancer cells from multiplying and spreading to distant sites, doctors administer chemotherapy.
During chemotherapy, cancer-killing drugs circulate through the body and kill cancer cells. Patients undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy to improve the treatment’s effectiveness.
Depending on the treatment approach, chemotherapy may be given before, during, or after surgery to increase the chances of long-term remission.
When radiation is used, powerful particles and waves scramble the DNA of the mesothelioma cells. This prevents them from dividing and ultimately kills them.
When the cells die off, the tumor shrinks in size, allowing doctors to control the spread of the disease.
Since radiation can also damage healthy cells, it is often used alongside other forms of mesothelioma treatment.
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Many treatment options exist for mesothelioma patients. Let us answer your questions about mesothelioma treatment.
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While surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are key mesothelioma treatments, they are most effective when used alongside one another.
When two or more mesothelioma treatments are used together, it is known as multimodal therapy.
In most multimodal therapy plans, different forms of treatment are administered one after the other. For example, a patient may undergo surgery to remove visible cancer tumors, and then undergo chemotherapy to kill microscopic cancer cells.
Different treatment combinations may be used depending on the type of mesothelioma and the patient’s overall health.
Which Treatment Is Right for Me?
What treatment options will work best for you often depends on the type of mesothelioma you have, and how far it has spread.
Doctors develop treatment approaches primarily based on the mesothelioma location. Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma are treated as different diseases because they have separate prognoses and treatment requirements.
Doctors administer the three standard treatments to patients in different stages. When each treatment type is administered depends on the unique case.
All three treatments can also be used to manage pain in late-stage patients. This is known as palliative care.