If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you are most likely in the best possible position to take steps to protect your health and possibly even your life. With this disease there are many different types of treatment ranging from conventional treatment methods to minimally invasive treatments. In this article, we will examine some of the latest treatment protocols available for patients with stages I and II mesothelioma. These include clinical trials, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. Depending on your particular case and your medical history, the treatment you will receive may be very different than those mentioned here.
Treatment for first degree pleural mesothelioma patients ranges from a variety of surgical procedures to chemotherapy. There is a new line of treatment known as “arterial embolization and ligation” (EAEL). This procedure is similar to the commonly used “pleurectomy”. For first degree mesothelioma patients, this procedure removes the affected tissue and prevents future fluid or cell growth from reaching the lungs or other parts of the body. This method has a high rate of success and excellent outlook for overall survival of the patients.
For more aggressive treatment of this form of cancer, several different approaches are being utilized. First, researchers are trying to find better ways to treat this condition. Because it has no known cure, mesothelioma can have a very long survival rate, but it still affects thousands of mesothelioma patients each year. With that said, the current treatment for first and third degree tumors is to do everything possible to prevent the disease in the first place, with as much potential for cure as possible after the cancer stage has been removed. Unfortunately, despite the best medical care, mesothelioma patients often experience a poor quality of life even after receiving various treatment options.
If you or a loved one is dealing with the devastating pain of mesothelioma diagnosis or the potential for diagnosis, you should consider getting involved with one of many organizations that are available to provide support after the diagnosis of this disease. Many of these organizations are designed specifically for patients, their families and their friends. The combined resources of these groups provide a tremendous source of information, education and practical help in many areas, including improving your overall health and extending the life expectancy and quality of life of those coping with this disease. They can also provide you with the resources and information needed to get to know and understand your legal rights, financial resources and support systems, your immediate family and your prognosis for the future.
In general, the more quickly you can learn about the risks, the course of treatment, the prognosis and the importance of early detection and diagnosis, the more likely you will be able to overcome the challenges and suffer minimal negative consequences, if any. Unfortunately, in the case of mesothelioma, knowledge is only so precious. For those already diagnosed, it can be difficult to learn the nuances of this disease, especially as you face potentially serious medical treatments and in the face of potential treatments that may not work as well as anticipated. While it is important to have as much information available when you are first diagnosed, it can also be helpful to have a dedicated source of information and support beyond the medical community to provide you with additional ideas and ways to deal with the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of coping with mesothelioma. These resources can be the key to making the best of your treatment options, regardless of whether you are dealing with just the symptoms or if you have been diagnosed with all three stages of this disease.
For those in the later stages of this disease, it becomes increasingly unlikely that the symptoms you are experiencing will improve, and even when the symptoms do abate, you may need additional treatment in order to control your symptoms or to eliminate them completely. Unfortunately, when this happens, the treatments typically fail to offer a cure, since they simply do not treat the cause of the mesothelioma, allowing it to return after months or years of being treated only to remain in remission. For those in the middle of the third stage, the prognosis is not as bleak as it once was, but you do still need to understand that even at this point, there is not yet a cure. Treatment options include either a combination of conventional treatments and more invasive surgery to remove the affected tissue, or a combination of conventional treatments and more traditional surgery to attempt to salvage the remaining healthy cells and fight against any remaining cancerous cells.