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Treatment options for mesothelioma

Those diagnosed with mesothelioma have three standard treatments available to them. They are:

-- Surgery

-- Radiation

-- Chemotherapy

With surgery, there are a few different options, depending upon the stage of the cancer as well as its location.

Surgeons can excise the malignancy and the tissue margins surrounding it if it has not spread. They can remove portions of the pleura or even take out the diseased lung and sections of malignant tissue surrounding other organs. Still another surgical option is pleurodesis, where a surgeon scars the space lying between layers of pleura with drugs or other chemicals in order to stop fluid from building up inside the pleural cavity.

Radiation therapy blasts the cancer with high-energy radiation so the cancer cells die off and stop replicating. Treatments can be done externally or internally. Typically, internal radiation uses radioactive substances that are enclosed in wires, seeds, needles or catheters and placed directly on or by the malignancy.

Chemotherapy can either be oral or intravenous or intramuscular medication that attacks the cancer systemically. Sometimes, it can be specifically targeted, e.g., in the organ, body cavity or cerebrospinal fluid.

Treatments are not all-or-nothing attempts, however. In many cases, oncologists battle cancer with a two- or three-pronged approach that can use different combinations of treatments. When a cancer has advanced to the last stages, treatment may be used in conjunction with palliative care to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.

Your doctor is at the helm of your treatment plan. Should you decide to pursue legal action for a workplace asbestos exposure, your attorney can direct your legal team for best results.

Source: National Cancer Institute, "Treatment Option Overview," accessed May 27, 2016

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