Because mesothelioma is usually at the advanced stages of its progression by the time it is diagnosed, treatment options may be limited.
In general, however, appropriate treatment options for any given patient will depend on the type of mesothelioma cells involved, where the tumor is located, how large it is, the stage of the disease, how much fluid has accumulated, and the age and general health of the patient.
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Common Treatments for Mesothelioma
Although some experimental treatments and alternative medical options have been explored, the most common treatments for mesothelioma are as follows:
- Surgery: Surgery is often used in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy as part of a multimodal treatment approach. In some cases, complete removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue is possible.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy can be used to slow growth of the disease, or as part of a multimodal approach designed to eliminate the disease entirely. It is typically the best option for patients in weak health.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs may be used alone to slow the progression of asbestos cancers, or in conjunction with other therapies in hopes of curing the disease or sending it into remission.
- Pain management and supportive care: Due to the harsh side effects of other treatment options and low probabilities for success, many mesothelioma sufferers choose to manage their pain and focus on quality of life, family, and more personal concerns.
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