When it comes to mesothelioma cancer treatment, there are a lot of options out there. But which one is right for you? We’ve got the latest information on all the different types of mesothelioma cancer treatment, so you can make an informed decision.
What is Mesothelioma Cancer?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs (the mesothelium). The most common type of mesothelioma affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleural mesothelioma). Mesothelioma can also occur in the tissue surrounding the heart (pericardial mesothelioma) and in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).
Asbestos exposure is virtually invariably the cause of mesothelioma. When people breathe in asbestos fibers, some of these fibers remain in the lungs. Over time, these fibers can cause inflammation and scarring, and eventually lead to mesothelioma. After asbestos exposure, mesothelioma can take several years, if not decades, to develop.
Causes of Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used in a variety of products, including insulation, fireproofing and soundproofing materials, automotive brakes and clutches, potting soil, vermiculite attic insulation, floor tiles, and many other products. When these products are disturbed or broken, asbestos fibers are released into the air and can be inhaled. Over time, these fibers can accumulate in the lungs and other tissues, causing inflammation and damage that can lead to mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Exposed to asbestos, a known carcinogen is the only known cause of mesothelioma. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but treatments can extend life and improve quality of life.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include:
-Shortness of breath
-Coughing up blood
Diagnosis of Mesothelioma Cancer
There is no one test used to diagnose mesothelioma. Instead, doctors will use a combination of medical imaging, a physical exam, biopsy, and genetic testing, as well as your personal and family medical history.
Imaging tests for mesothelioma
Several types of imaging tests may be used to help diagnose mesothelioma or to determine the stage (extent) of cancer. The following imaging exams are used to identify mesothelioma:
A CT scan uses special x-ray equipment to make detailed cross-sectional images of your body. A CT scan can be used to measure the size of a tumor and to check for the spread of cancer into nearby tissues.
A PET scan is a type of imaging test that uses a small amount of radioactive material injected into your vein. The material collects in areas of higher chemical activity in your body, which tend to be areas with cancer cells. A PET scan can show if there is cancer in the chest and if it has spread to other parts of the body.
MRI scan. An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of your body. An MRI can be used to measure tumor size or check for the spread of cancer into nearby tissues.
Options for Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for mesothelioma, as the best course of action will vary depending on the individual’s circumstances. However, there are a number of options that may be considered in mesothelioma cancer treatment, which include:
– Surgery: This is often the first course of action for mesothelioma patients, and can involve removing all or part of the affected lung.
– Chemotherapy: This treatment uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells, and is often used in conjunction with surgery.
– Radiation therapy: This treatment uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells, and is also often used in combination with surgery.
– Clinical Trials: There are ongoing clinical trials testing new options for mesothelioma cancer treatment, which may offer hope for patients who have not responded to other treatments.
Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment
Clinical trials are research projects that examine how effectively new medical techniques perform in human subjects. These trials are one way that patients can get access to the newest, most promising treatments.
Mesothelioma clinical trials often evaluate new combination therapies that use two or more drugs. These combinations may work better together than either drug could alone. Other trials may test new targeted therapies, immunotherapies, or other types of treatment.
Most mesothelioma clinical trials (mesothelioma cancer treatment options) take place at large cancer centers that have the specialized staff and facilities needed to support these studies. Some trials are only open to patients who have not yet received treatment, while others may be open to patients who have already completed standard therapy. Patients should talk to their doctors to see if they are eligible for any ongoing mesothelioma clinical trials.
Support for Mesothelioma Cancer Patients
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is here to help. We are a national organization dedicated to providing free information and support to patients and families affected by this disease.
We can help you understand your treatment options, find Clinical Trials, connect with other patients and caregivers, and navigate the financial and legal aspects of your diagnosis. We also offer a variety of resources for caregivers, including a Caregiver Guide and a Caregiver Support Line.
No one should have to face mesothelioma alone. To find out how we can assist you, get in touch with us now.
Prevention of Mesothelioma Cancer
Primary prevention of mesothelioma involves avoiding exposure to asbestos. Secondary prevention of mesothelioma involves early detection and treatment of the disease.