There is hope on the horizon for patients with mesothelioma. Clinical trials are ongoing in the fight against mesothelioma, and some trials are showing promise for earlier detection of the cancer spread and an improved long-term prognosis.
Many factors have made mesothelioma hard for doctors to treat effectively for many years. One is its long period of latency. In addition, symptoms can vary from patient to patient, making it hard for medical staff to give an accurate diagnosis. When it is correctly diagnosed, mesothelioma may already be in stage 3 or 4, and that may be too late for doctors to effectively treat the patient as they would like.
Maybe you have wondered, what are the treatments for mesothelioma? Maybe you have already sought treatment options for mesothelioma, caused by asbestos exposure earlier in life. While you are doing that and gaining information, keep in mind that you may also be entitled to financial compensation through the form of a class-action settlement against an asbestos-producing corporation. A law firm may be able to help you understand your legal options if this is the case.
Traditional Treatment for Mesothelioma
What are the treatments for mesothelioma? Traditional treatments used for mesothelioma patients include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Here is a look at how these treatments work with mesothelioma patients.
In pleural mesothelioma, doctors will try to remove the cancerous tissue using a surgical procedure. The crucial factor is the stage at which the cancer exists. If a person is in an early stage, like stage 1 or 2, then chances for surgery to remove the cancerous tissue are good. If the person is in stages 3 or 4, then the options for surgical treatment are reduced, in favor of a palliative care treatment.
One of these surgical procedures is called a wedge resection. This procedure involves the surgeon making a few incisions around the lungs in a wedge shape to remove the cancer tumor and outlying tissue around it. This minimally invasive surgery can help to minimize any complications from the surgery and help the patient recover.
Chemotherapy is probably the best-known cancer treatment, although many cancer patients are often afraid to allow it because of the many side effects, which may include nausea, hair loss, and more. But chemotherapy is effective when used alongside surgery, working to control the growth of the tumor and relieve the patient’s symptoms.
Chemotherapy works by shrinking the tumors inside a patient, helping the patient to live longer and with manageable symptoms. But as it works inside the body, it can also attack some of the healthy cells, causing side effects such as muscle pain, nausea, headaches, and general fatigue. Depending on the patient and the stage of cancer, a doctor may choose to combine chemotherapy with surgery as a form of treatment.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles to kill cancer cells. Typically, doctors use radiation therapy to kill any cancer cells that are still in the patient’s body after surgery. Side effects from radiation therapy are less severe than chemotherapy’s side effects when used in combination with surgery.
New Treatments for Mesothelioma Patients
New treatments for mesothelioma patients are often in progress, as the promise of a cure—or at least an early detection breakthrough—can alleviate much of the mental anguish involved in the disease. Modern treatments are limited in their effectiveness, mainly due to the 20- to 30-year latency period that reduces the chances of survival in mesothelioma patients. Late-stage symptoms arise, and it is often too late for anything but palliative care.
However, ongoing research is showing some promise in the race to develop an early-detection cure for mesothelioma patients. Researchers have found that mesothelioma patients have high levels of certain substances in their blood and have focused on developing blood tests that could help detect the cancer earlier.
Other advancements include clinical tests for a combination therapy using nivolumab and the MTG201 agent to extend a patient’s survival rates when facing pleural mesothelioma. Late last year, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center also announced a new trial test to combine chemotherapy with nivolumab to assess the drug’s effectiveness working in the immune system to locate and eliminate cancer cells.
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Seeking Compensation for an Asbestos Claim
If you or someone you know is in treatment with a mesothelioma diagnosis, it may be worthwhile to find out if you or the other person has been exposed to asbestos in the past. There may be possible legal options for filing a compensation claim and Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Possible compensation may be available for financial losses resulting from mesothelioma. Call (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with a member of our team.