If you face a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may feel overwhelmed. Often, doctors do not catch the disease until the later stages when surgeons cannot remove cancer.
According to Mayo Clinic, despite how aggressive mesothelioma is, there are various treatment options available.
Chemo and radiation therapy
As with most cancers, doctors can use chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. Chemo can shrink the growth of mesothelioma that doctors cannot remove. Doctors may use chemotherapy before surgery for an easier operation or after to reduce the chance of cancer returning.
If you undergo radiation therapy, the doctors use a high-energy beam to target a specific area of the body. If you have cancer cells following surgery, doctors can use radiation to kill the remainder. In addition, when you cannot have surgery, radiation can reduce the symptoms of advanced cancer.
If you have an early diagnosis, surgeons may remove the cancer. If not possible, surgeons can still use surgery to reduce the signs and symptoms. With pleural mesothelioma, fluid may build up in your chest and lead to breathing difficulties. To decrease buildup, surgeons insert a tube into the chest for drainage.
If necessary, surgeons may also remove tissue around the lungs or an entire lung. Removing affected tissue may relieve the symptoms. For those who have to undergo radiation following, the doctors may use higher doses of radiation against the mesothelioma.
In addition to traditional treatments, clinical trials allow patients to try new treatments. Clinical trials involve new therapy drugs and approaches that may improve a patient’s health or reduce the cancer.