How Effective Is Mesothelioma Treatment Presently

By Heidi Wingrain

Various factors like the level of infection, the area of infection, the extent of contamination, the condition of the affected cells, the patient's age, his overall health etc have to be considered for mesothelioma treatment. The patient should be made aware of his treatment process before it is started.

Three kinds of traditional mesothelioma treatment are in vogue, namely, surgery, medication and radiation. Surgery attempts to remove the cancer altogether while medication or chemotherapy fights the cancer through powerful drugs. Radiation is the process of destroying malignant cancer cells by use of high energy x-rays or other energy beams. In more serious cases, doctors try to contain the cancer by using a combination of two or three of these tactics.

Blood tests are not highly successful in analyzing the kind of cancer, whereas procedures like thorascocopy, video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy and laproscopy are used to identify the problem. The actual mesothelioma treatment will begin after proper diagnosis.

For patients with comparatively mild infection, surgeries for removal of the cancer from its roots are resorted to. Palliative surgical procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitoneal shunt and pleurectomy treats the symptoms of the disease rather than the cancer itself. Chest tube drainage and pleurodesis is the most common palliative treatment, which removes the pleural effusion from the affected areas.

Aggressive curative procedures try to remove the disease in its totality. For pleural mesothelioma, which is the commonest form of asbestos cancer accounting for more than three-fourths of total cases, decortication is used to remove tumor from stage 1 and stage 2 patients without removing the lung. If the tumor is not removable without extracting the lung, then pneumonectomy, which entails removal of a lung, is resorted to. No surgery is made without adequate tests and analysis.

Chemotherapy helps to cease the spread of cancer, to shrink tumors and get rid of the remnants of the disease after the surgery. Here chemicals are used to fight cancer and they prevent the cancerous cells from multiplying. Palliative chemotherapy is used where there are no hopes of survival. Radiotherapy makes use of penetrating beams of extreme energy or particle streams. Thus mesothelioma treatment is a many-sided tactic meant to lessen the anguish of the patients and eradicate the cancer. - 30540

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