Being diagnosed with Mesothelioma is considered a life shattering incident leading to an assured fatal outcome, and a costly ending. Unless a case is detected very early on and localized to a tiny specific part of the body, mesothelioma is incurable. The treatment offered is thus palliative and meant to prolong the life of a patient and ease the pain and suffering. So, what are the treatment options available if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma?
Here is a step by step mesothelioma treatment guide:
- Radiation Therapy
This involves killing cancerous tissue and cells through exposure to radioactive rays. Traditionally, external beam radiation, such as the one used in x-ray machines, was the only method available in radiation therapy. The body cells are bombarded with x-rays from an external source, which kills most of the cancerous cells. Recently, a more specialized form of radiation therapy known as brachytherapy has come up. This involves planting radioactive material directly into a tumor, thus providing a stronger dose of radiation and less damage to the healthy surrounding tissue. Radiation therapy can be applied alone or in conjunction with other methods such as invasive procedures and chemotherapy.
- Invasive Procedures (Surgery)
In cases where a tumor is detected very early and is highly localized, invasive procedures or surgery is carried out to remove the cancerous cells and stem further growth. Surgery is mostly paired with radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both, to ensure that all cancerous cells are killed. Depending on the type of mesothelioma and the stage at which it is being treated, thoracentesis, pleurectomy, pneumonectomy or aperitonectomy may be performed upon a patient.
It involves the intravenous introduction of certain chemical combinations that interfere with the processes of cell division in the body, thus killing the cancerous cells. During administration, care must be taken to ensure that the drug is applied effectively to minimize damage to healthy cells which are also susceptible to being killed in the process. Can be applied alone or in conjunction with surgery or radiation therapy.
- Photodynamic Therapy
It involves injecting the patient with a medical solution that reacts differently to healthy and cancerous cells. It thus lights up and makes the cancerous susceptible to light within a certain spectrum, thus killing them upon exposure. It is effective for localized cases of mesothelioma.
- Gene Therapy
It involves the introduction of artificially altered genes which target the cancerous cells and make them susceptible to killing through chemotherapy or radiation. This method has not yet been officially approved by the FDC and patients who have undergone the same have been volunteers for clinical trial purposes.
- Alternative Therapies
Though not strictly medical, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and art therapy have been applied successfully in the management and alleviation of pain among mesothelioma patients.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma today, don’t be discouraged, it is not a death sentence. Take advantage of these treatment methods available to ease your pain and reduce suffering, as your attorney works to ensure that those responsible for your exposure to asbestos are held accountable, and pursues compensation for you.