Mesothelioma is a devastating, aggressive type of cancer that can develop in your lungs, abdominal cavity, heart cavity, or even testes. It is primarily the result of asbestos exposure. Because mesothelioma can form ten, fifteen, and even twenty years after asbestos exposure, it has often progressed into later-stage cancer by the time doctors recognize and diagnose your problem. However, in some cases it can still be treated or managed with treatment options like radiation.
Radiation is a powerful form of energy that travels in the form of waves or particles. It is naturally present in a number of different places, such as sunlight and even sound waves. Tiny amounts of radioactive particles in the earth can also give off what is called background radiation. Thus, many people are exposed to minimal amounts of radiation throughout their lives.
Mankind has harnessed the power of radioactive material to use it as things like a clean energy source and medical diagnostic equipment such as x-rays. In a more intense form, it can be used as radiation therapy for cancer. Radiation is one of the three conventional cancer treatments. Although radiation is dangerous in high doses, it can be targeted and controlled to help kill cancerous cells in a person with mesothelioma.
Once you are diagnosed with mesothelioma and have devised a treatment plan including radiation, doctors will decide on the form of radiation treatment that is best for you. You can undergo external radioactive therapy, where beams of this energy form are shot at your tumors from outside of your body. Internal radiation therapy involves placing radioactive materials inside tumors to kill them from within. Lastly, you can also receive injections of radioactive material to help fight cancer.
Because mesothelioma typically forms many small tumors, internal radiation is a popular form of treatment for this cancer. Recent studies have shown that radioactive gold and chromic phosphate can help with mesothelioma, although your body may respond differently to the treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important that you have all of the information you need regarding this disease before you make a decision about treatment.