Before we discuss about mesothelioma treatments it is important to have an understanding of what is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the linings of lungs and abdominal area caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. It takes 30–40 years for this cancer to appear after the asbestos exposure. It is important to treat this cancer in the early stages otherwise it proves fatal. Various mesothelioma treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
There are two types of surgeries for mesothelioma treatments, Aggressive Surgery and Palliative Procedures. Before performing any surgery, it is necessary to check whether the heart and lungs are functioning properly. Of the two types, aggressive surgery, also known as Pneumonectomy, is complicated surgery performed on younger patients, who are good in health and can bear the surgery. Pneumonectomy involves the removal of extra pleural membrane. The main purpose of this mesothelioma treatment is to physically remove as much tumor as possible.
Palliative procedures of mesothelioma treatment are known as Pleurectomy. It is done in the early stages of cancer. This process of mesothelioma treatment involves surgical removal of pleura. However, the procedures are involved to lessen and control the symptoms rather than to cure the disease. This surgery reduces the pain caused by the tumor mass and helps in preventing the recurrence of pleural effusion. Complete removal of tumor is not possible with this procedure.
Chemotherapy is a mesothelioma treatment method that makes combined use of certain drugs for shrinking the tumor. Though some patients show only partial success to this method, some combinations of chemotherapy drugs have proved successful. Scientists have developed some new chemotherapy drugs for mesothelioma treatments.