Mesothelioma treatment relates relieving or curing the deadly disease called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is serious disease that affects the lining of lungs, abdominal organs or heart. Mesothelioma can be of two types, either benign or malignant. Mesothelioma treatment, for an individual suffering from benign mesothelioma, is surgery. However, in case of malignant mesothelioma scientists could not find any established mesothelioma treatment to cure the patient fully.
Types of Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma treatment options available today are radiation, chemotherapy, radical surgery and/or combination of all these treatments. During surgery, either a part of tumor or the whole tumor is removed. In some cases, a portion of the normal tissue surrounding the area is also removed along with the tumor.
Mesothelioma treatment, in which the doctors try to cure the patient with drugs, is known as chemotherapy. As the mesothelioma cancer is a rare disease, very little information is available regarding the effects of different drugs on different patients. Adriamycm, (doxorubicin), Cytoxan, (cyclophosphamide), 5-fluorouracil and 5-azacytidine are some of the drugs that have shown good results and a response rate of 0 to 35 % when tried on mesothelioma patients. Some other effective drugs for mesothelioma treatment are cisplatin, high dose methotrexate, interferon, anthracycline analogues and vinblastine. The National Cancer Institute is sponsoring further studies the effectiveness of these and other drugs by funding many clinical centers.
Radiation is another option of mesothelioma treatment that is more helpful in reducing the pain rather than curing the disease itself. Because of the severity of the disease, standard dose of 6,000 rads of radiation has very little effect on mesothelioma patients. In limited cases, some benefit is observed when patient is treated with aggressive high dose radiation. Use of radioactive compounds on diseased tissue has also shown some positive results with the individuals diagnosed early on. Patients of pleural mesothelioma survived for over 24 months when radioactive colloidal gold (Au 198) was placed between the two pleural membranes. Scientists are hopeful that radioactive chromic phosphate, p32 can be used as an effective mesothelioma treatment. This might increase the survival period of patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma.
Like the treatment of other cancers, mesothelioma treatment also has its side effects. Nausea and vomiting are some minor problems associated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy that could be controlled with medicines. However, suppression of bone marrow is a serious short-term side effect that may cause WBC, RBC and platelets counts to go down. Such patients may become susceptible to bleeding and infection and may require antibiotic therapy or any other supportive care.
Mesothelioma treatment can be a very expensive and lengthy procedure. However, the patients suffering from mesothelioma cancers can seek compensation for mesothelioma treatments. They can file lawsuits against the individuals or organizations responsible for causing asbestos exposure.