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Mesothelioma Treatment Options

May 25, 2008
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by contact with asbestos, a carcinogen. The disease attacks the lining of the lung or the lining of the abdominal cavity. It can be difficult to deal with this type of cancer and find decent mesothelioma info online. This article will outline some of the main treatment options available to deal with the disease. The more knowledge you have about this disease, the better.

Most people searching for mesothelioma info are looking for information regarding the different treatments currently available to those affected by the cancer. The type of treatment you receive for it depends on many factors, including cancer stage, location of the disease, and how far it has spread. It also depends on how the cancer cells look under the microscope. Your age and personal wishes are another factor to consider. Although this disease is very dangerous, there have been successful treatments.

There are three main treatment types for those who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma - surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Surgery physically removes the cancer, while chemotherapy using drugs to kill the cancer. With radiation therapy treatment high doses of x-rays and other high-energy rays are used to target and kill the cancer. In your search for reliable information, you may have already discovered that in many cases, two or more of these methods are used to beat the cancer.

One of the surgical procedures that can be performed on mesothelioma patients is called palliative surgery, which involves treating the symptoms of the without going after the disease directly. Palliative treatments often include drainage of the chest tube and pleurodesis - the buildup of fluid is usually what first alerts patients to the reality of their situation. After the fluid has been initially drained, it often returns and patients have to undergo more procedures to permanently remove the remaining fluid. The pleural space must be closed to prevent future problems with fluid buildup.

If you want to know more about mesothelioma info, it's important to realize that other procedures are designed to cure the disease, rather than for palliative reasons. The goal of this type of surgical procedure is to remove the whole of the cancer - but take note that with the surgical removal of the cancer microscopic remnants of the disease are always left behind and have the potential to grow back after the surgery has been completed. It takes time, but you have to realize that this is a strong possibility with surgical treatment procedures.

For this very reason adjuvant therapy is carried out after the surgical procedure to minimize this possibility. This method of treatment is administered in addition to the primary surgery to remove residual disease.

For patients in the early stages, a pleurectomy/decortication is usually the route taken to remove the tumor. If the doctors can't remove the entire tumor without removing the lung, the lung will be taken out (this is referred to as a pneumonectomy). As science progresses, there are other options for treatment, including gene therapy, immunotherapy, and photodynamic therapy.
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