There are certain factors that influence the type of treatment a patient with malignant mesothelioma may undergo. These include the type of cancer, the location of the cancer, the stage or extent to which it has spread at diagnosis, whether the cancer can be removed by surgery, the amount of fluid collected in the chest or abdomen, and whether the cancer has occurred for the first time or has come back (recurrent malignant mesothelioma). As with other cancers, the patientï¿bf½s general health at the time of diagnosis may also determine how aggressively the cancer can be treated. In general, patients with better general health tend to withstand the insults of anti-cancer treatment better than those who are in poor health.
Standard treatment of malignant mesothelioma may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Surgery is used to treat early, localized disease by removing the tumor mass. It may also be used to offer symptomatic relief in pleural mesothelioma by removal of the pleura (pleurectomy or decortication). Pleurodesis is a surgical method used to obliterate the space between the pleural membranes where fluid collects. Chemotherapy may range from single-drug therapy to multi-drug therapy. It is used to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing them or by stopping their further division. Radiotherapy is used to provide symptomatic relief, particularly relief from severe pain.
While some treatments for malignant mesothelioma are standard, other treatments are investigational and are only available if a patient enrolls in a clinical trial. Besides the methods described above, some clinical trials are using biotherapy, which is a form of treatment that stimulates the patientï¿bf½s immune system to fight the cancer. Median survival time after diagnosis with malignant mesothelioma is between one and two years; this is why many patients opt to enroll in clinical trials. The National Cancer Institute website provides information on ongoing clinical trials and enrollment criteria.
Mesothelioma Symptoms provides detailed information on Advanced Mesothelioma Symptoms, Clinical Mesothelioma Symptoms, Mesothelioma Diagnosis: An Introduction, Mesothelioma Stomach Symptoms and more. Mesothelioma Symptoms is affiliated with Pleural Mesothelioma Information.