Monday, 5 December 2016

[Guest Post] Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Before this I had been wrote a post about Mesothelioma which you can read at here. Recently I had been collaborating with Community Outreach Vounteer to share more about Mesothelioma especially for treatment parts.

Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are several mesothelioma treatment options that are available. The focus of these specific treatments is based on improving prognosis for mesothelioma patients. Even if a patient does not have a viable lifespan, alternative therapies and palliative care help in reducing any type of suffering and pain that is associated with mesothelioma. The choice of treatment options for mesothelioma depends on numerous factors. These include the stage of the cancer, type of mesothelioma, overall health of the patient, patient’s preference and potential side effects of the treatment. It is important that you learn about the available treatment options if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Ask your doctor questions about each treatment option as well as the goals and possible outcomes of each treatment.



Surgery
Surgery is the most common method that is used to treat mesothelioma when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage. A surgical procedure can be performed to remove most of the tumor or all of it. Surgery can include the removal of the mesothelial lining, lymph nodes, part of or the entire organ like the lung depending on the location of the tumor.

Chemotherapy
This treatment option entails the administration of chemotherapy drugs. Upon administration, the drugs attack the fast-growing cancer cells. Chemotherapy is usually used with other treatment options. For instance, chemotherapy drugs are administered to kill all mesothelioma cells that are left behind after the surgeon is unable to remove them physically.

Radiation therapy
This treatment option entails the use of radiation that targets mesothelioma tumors. Targeted radiation shrinks mesothelioma tumors making their removal through surgery easier. Radiation is delivered using an internal or external source depending on the location of the tumor.

Experimental treatment options
In addition to the above conventional mesothelioma treatment options, there are other treatments for mesothelioma that researchers are working on. Some of them are extremely promising and they have already undergone clinical trials successfully. They have also been proven effective in not only extending mesothelioma patients’ lives but improving the quality of life as well.

These include:

•             Gene therapy
This is a mesothelioma treatment approach that is based on the fact that mesothelioma cancer is caused by a fault in the DNA of the cell. Therefore, the disease can be fought by overwriting or fixing problematic genes.

•             Immunotherapy
The idea behind this treatment option is that by boosting or kick-starting the immune system, it harnesses the immune system’s power and enhances the body defenses to be able to fight mesothelioma cancer. Immunotherapy has been showing excellent results.

•             Photodynamic therapy
Using photosensitizing drugs and light, researchers have established a way of killing cancer cells. The way this works is a drug is injected into the patient to bond to the cancer cells after which a high intensity light is used to activate it. This treatment approach has few side effects but is definitely worth looking into.

Emerging treatments and clinical trials
Clinics across the world perform continuous clinical trials on all sorts of common and uncommon diseases. These trials are focused on establishing new ways of treating various cancers including mesothelioma. Clinical trials are the only treatment options that can provide hope and opportunities for patients that are still looking for effective treatments for mesothelioma. For instance, researchers are currently investigating new chemotherapies, targeted drugs and protocols for providing medications. Some trials also focus on expanding the realms of immunotherapy (mentioned above).

Other mesothelioma treatment techniques under investigation include novel radiotherapy and genetic therapy. It is strongly advisable that you learn about all the available mesothelioma treatment options so that you can make an informed decision when choosing a mesothelioma treatment for you or for a loved one. 

Sources
4. http://www.seminoncol.org/article/S0093-7754(02)50058-0/abstract

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