Mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a terrifying death rate. Caused by asbestos this disease can take 40 to 50 years to show up, and then progresses at an alarming pace. Without treatment the prognosis of a Mesothelioma patient is approximately one year. Medical science has developed treatment options for Mesothelioma. Once detected it is important to begin with mesothelioma treatments as soon as possible to improve the prognosis.
Traditional Mesothelioma Treatments
Traditional treatments for Mesothelioma patients are much the same as any other type of cancer treatments. Surgery removes the cancerous cells. Chemotherapy uses drugs to fight the cancer and heal the cells. Radiation uses high dose x-rays kill the cells. Many times two or even all three of these are involved in treating a mesothelioma patient. The course of treatment depends on several factors, including the patients overall health, the stage of the mesothelioma, and the effectiveness the treatment is believed to have. For example if a patient is generally healthy and strong and the cancerous cells haven’t spread noticeably to other areas, a doctor may perform surgery to remove the mesothelioma and then follow up with radiation to kill any cancerous cells that had spread. But if a patient is declining rapidly with a great deal of spreading the surgery would be left out of the treatment options and the doctor would proceed with Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments.
Uncommon Mesothelioma Treatments
These treatment options aren’t as widely used and recognized as the three above, however depending on the stage of the cancer; doctors have seen great success in fighting mesothelioma with these treatments.
Photodynamic Therapy is most effective in patients who have a localized area of cancerous cells, and uses light energy to kill the cells. The patient is intravenously given a medication which will make cancer cells extremely sensitive to a particular type of light. Between 24 and 72 hours later the patient is placed under this type of light and the cells which have absorbed the medication are killed.
Gene Therapy uses genetic material to target cancer cells and make the more vulnerable to chemotherapy treatments. In this treatment a non-infectious virus is introduced that basically causes the cancer cells to commit suicide by creating a substance that will cause their death. While gene therapy has shown promising results it is only available through clinical trials.
Immunotherapy tricks the body’s immune system into killing the cancer cells. This involves introducing a vaccine made from cancerous cells back into the body. At that time the immune system will recognize the vaccine and thus the cancer as being harmful and will naturally fight the cancer.
The experts in the medical science field are continuously running trials and searching for optional Mesothelioma treatments that will kill the cancerous cells and remove mesothelioma from the body. Any patient who has mesothelioma should discuss all the options with their physician and fight mesothelioma aggressively in order to get the disease out of their body and live a long healthy life.