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Options for Mesothelioma Treatment
In cancer treatment, the focus is usually on killing the malignant cells and saving the healthy ones. Currently most patients use three basic options for mesothelioma treatment that are radiation, chemotherapy. Recommended treatment is determined by the following:
• The location and type of mesothelioma
• The particular size of the tumor or tumors
• Which stage of cancer the patient is in i.e. l,ll,lll
• The level at which the cancer has spread
• Patient’s age
• Physical health of patient
Before treatment starts there may be a number of doctors to visit which may include a pulmonologist, a radiologist, or oncologist (a cancer specialist). Types of mesothelioma treatment include:
• Surgery Treatment-two reasons surgery may be performed: To keep the patient more comfortable, and to cure the disease. Several types of surgeries
1. Pleurodesis-Prevents fluid returning by injecting talc into the lungs.
2. Thoracentesis-Removes fluid from the lungs by a thin needle.
3. Pleurectomy-Removing the pleura
In recent years advances in surgery for treatment of mesothelioma in those diagnosed with the early stages have been shown to extend survival rates. One such surgery is all extrapleural pnemonectomy a leading doctor in the field of mesothelioma performs this surgery which involves resection of the entire affected lung.
• Radiation Therapy Treatment-Used when a patient’s health is to delicate for chemotherapy or surgery. Radiation is known to have the fewest side effects. A method of radiation therapy:
1. External beam radiation-This treatment comes from a machine and aims towards the affected area and is the most preferred for mesothelioma treatment.
2. Brachytherapy-This treatment is rarely used and it involves puts radioactive material inside the abdomen and lung.
• Chemotherapy Treatment-In the form of chemotherapy drugs that are either injected into the patient systemically or ingested in pill form.