There are treatment options available for patients with all stages of mesothelioma and include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and new clinical options.
Doctors offer three primary types of treatment to malignant mesothelioma patients: Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The types of treatment you receive depend on your diagnosis, the stage and type of your mesothelioma and your overall health.
If the cancer has not yet spread, a combination of radiation, surgery and chemotherapy likely will be offered to you. This combined approach to treatment is called multimodal therapy.
If the mesothelioma already has spread significantly, doctors typically recommend palliative treatments that can help alleviate pain, breathing problems and other cancer symptoms that lessen your quality of life. You are still likely to be offered radiation and chemotherapy, but probably not major surgery options.
Radiation therapy can soothe pain and correct breathing issues by shrinking tumors that press on your nerves, veins and airways. Chemotherapy also shrinks tumors, helping with chest pain and night sweats. Non-curative surgeries can remove tumors that cause troublesome symptoms, or drain fluid that builds up in the chest or abdomen.
You may also want to talk to your doctor about other treatment options beyond surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Experimental treatments exist, mostly in clinical trials, and sometimes they can make a huge difference.
Some patients also pursue alternative treatments like massage therapy, acupuncture or yoga. These can often be added to standard treatments like chemotherapy, so talk with your doctor about which therapies you'd like to explore.
What Are My Treatment Options?
There are several treatment options for patients with mesothelioma, from surgery to chemotherapy. These treatment options are not typically considered a cure for mesothelioma patients, although patients have reached remission in certain cases. These cases are typically situations where the disease was caught in the earliest stages and treated aggressively by a specialist.
Surgical options are available for both curative and pain-relief purposes for all types of mesothelioma. Recovery from surgery can last several weeks.
Chemotherapy is an effective and viable form of treatment viable for patients with all 4 stages of malignant mesothelioma.
Radiation therapy can be used before and after surgery to help shrink tumors and kill remaining cancer cells in a specific area of the body.
Mesothelioma Multimodal Treatment
Aggressive surgical treatments combined with chemotherapy and radiation have increased the life expectancy of many patients.
Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Clinical trials offer patients access to emerging treatments such as immunotherapy treatments, gene therapy and photodynamic therapy.