Cancer Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
by Genevieve Rice
Mesothelioma patients have several treatment options, especially if treated early.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue covering most vital organs. There are several treatment options for mesothelioma, depending on your overall health, where the cancer is in the body and how quickly the cancer is spreading. These treatments may be used alone or in combination.
Radiation therapy helps inhibit the growth of cancer cells by applying high-energy x-rays and other forms of radiation to areas affected by mesothelioma.
Using chemicals, chemotherapy slows the growth of and shrinks mesothelioma. Chemotherapy can be applied directly to the cancer so that it does not affect healthy cells.
If caught early enough, part or all of mesothelioma can be surgically removed from the affected tissues and organs. Surgery may also be used to treat conditions caused by mesothelioma, such as fluid buildup.
Although research on the effectiveness of drug therapy in treating mesothelioma has not been as extensive as research for radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery, drugs such as Alimta, Platinol and Vinorelbine have been used to target and eradicate mesothelioma.
A fairly new approach to cancer treatment, immunotherapy manipulates the body's own immune system to fight mesothelioma.
Acupuncture, herbal therapy and other natural remedies also have been used to treat mesothelioma.