The Medical Cure for Mesothelioma

Although a clinically found cure for mesothelioma does not exist, there are plenty of treatment options that patients can choose from to combat the cancer. Some of the most common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but the goal of these treatments is largely dependent on the stage of mesothelioma upon diagnosis.

For example, treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can either be used to potentially cure the disease or they can be used to provide relief from symptoms. A late-stage diagnosis, such as stage III or IV mesothelioma, will typically receive a palliative approach – meaning the goal is to alleviate symptoms and improve life expectancy.

An early diagnosis, such as stage I or II mesothelioma, can be treated with surgeries and other methods that aim to remove the cancer and send it into remission. Aggressive surgeries that try to eliminate mesothelioma include:

· Thoracotomy: This procedure removes a portion of the lung.

· Pneumonectomy: This procedure removes the entire affected lung.

· Extrapleural Pneumonectomy: This procedure removes the lung, the lining of the lungs and heart, and part of the diaphragm.

· Pleurectomy/Decortication: This procedure removes tumors and portions of the pleura while keeping the lung intact.

Many surgical procedures are followed with chemotherapy and radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells left behind. In recent years, this multimodal treatment approach has shown to be the most successful at prolonging survival.

Many patients who do not qualify for surgery have surpassed their expected prognosis by receiving chemotherapy treatments. Alimta, also called pemetrexed, is the only chemotherapy drug that has been FDA-approved for the treatment of mesothelioma. It is often combined with Cisplatin and this approach has demonstrated successful results.

While the side effects of chemotherapy can be tough to handle, most patients agree the benefits outweigh the risks.

Alternative Treatment

Some patients have managed to surpass their prognosis by either completely avoiding standard treatment options or uniting alternative therapies with traditional treatment. Considered to be alternative treatment and experimental, the lifestyle changes these patients made primarily involved nutritional alterations that helped boost their immune system.

For example, one patient, J.R. O'Connor,survived seven years by taking100 supplements a dayand following a mind-body therapy regimen. Another patient with peritoneal mesothelioma, Paul Kraus, has survived 15 years by maintaining a strict vegetarian diet, utilizing nutrient therapies and herbal remedies,and employing meditation and exercise, among other modalities.

Bio: Jensen Whitmer has been writing for the Mesothelioma Center for more than three years and he has an interest in spreading awareness about the hazardous effects of asbestos exposure.

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