When it comes to mesothelioma treatment, patients and their families are often faced with difficult decisions.
It's essential to have a clear understanding of the various treatment options available to make informed choices.
This article will outline five different types of mesothelioma treatments, discussing their effectiveness, side effects, and other relevant factors.
Our goal is to provide you with trustworthy information to help guide you through this challenging journey.
Surgery is generally considered the most effective treatment option for mesothelioma, as it involves the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissues.
However, surgery is typically only effective in the early stages of the disease when the cancer is localized and has not spread to other areas of the body.
Types of surgeries used for mesothelioma treatment:
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), involves removing the affected lung, surrounding tissue, and part of the diaphragm.
- Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D), aims to preserve the lung by removing only the pleura and other affected tissues.
The choice of surgery depends on factors such as the tumor's location, the patient's overall health, and the stage of the disease.
Possible complications and side effects of surgery include pain, infection, and difficulty breathing.
Chemotherapy is often used in conjunction with surgery or as a standalone treatment for mesothelioma patients.
It involves the administration of drugs that target and destroy cancer cells, either by preventing them from dividing or by triggering cell death.
The most common chemotherapy drugs for mesothelioma include pemetrexed and cisplatin, often administered together.
Despite being an effective treatment option, chemotherapy carries a wide range of side effects, ranging from mild symptoms like fatigue and nausea to severe complications such as kidney damage and lowered immunity.
3)) Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is another treatment option that can be used alone or in conjunction with other methods, such as surgery or chemotherapy.
This approach uses high-energy rays (usually X-rays) to target and destroy cancer cells without affecting nearby healthy tissue.
There are two types of radiation therapy used for mesothelioma treatment—external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
Both techniques have shown promising results, but they also come with potential side effects, including skin redness and irritation, difficulty swallowing, and fatigue.
Immunotherapy is a relatively new treatment method gaining traction in the field of mesothelioma.
It aims to enhance the patient's immune system to help it recognize and eliminate cancer cells more effectively.
This technique is typically used in conjunction with chemotherapy or other standard treatments.
Some common immunotherapy drugs for mesothelioma include pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo).
Due to its unique approach, some patients may experience fewer side effects than with traditional treatments.
However, immunotherapy is still relatively new, and its long-term effectiveness is not yet fully understood.
5)) Clinical Trials and Emerging Treatments
Mesothelioma patients and their families should be aware of the potential benefits of participating in clinical trials.
These trials aim to evaluate new and promising treatments before they become widely available, offering patients access to cutting-edge therapies that may be more effective or less invasive than standard options.
Emerging treatments currently under investigation for mesothelioma include targeted therapy (drugs that specifically target cancer cell growth and survival), gene therapy, and photodynamic therapy.
Understanding the different types of mesothelioma treatments available is crucial in making an informed decision about your care.
Each treatment option comes with its unique set of benefits and potential side effects.
It's crucial to discuss all available options, including clinical trials, with your medical team to determine the most suitable course of action for your individual case.
Armed with knowledge and a strong support system, you can make the best possible decisions for your health and well-being.