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Common Treatments and Medical Procedures for a Mesothelioma Patient

July 11, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Cancer

Article by Gust A. Lenglet

Once a patient has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, both the doctor and the patient must then determine the best possible treatment.Mesothelioma prognosis, or the recovering factor for a patient, will vary based on several different characteristics:

1. Size of the mesothelioma

2. Whether or not the cancer is spreading

3. Where the mesothelioma is located

4. The patient’s physical health condition and age

5. How the cells are portrayed under a microscope

Three Different Types of Mesothelioma Cells

1. Mixed Cell Type – This cell type is a mixture of the cancer cells and is normally labeled as an intermediate form of the cancer.

2. Epithelial Cell Type – These cells are the most treatable, and have the best prognosis.

3. Fibrosarcomatous Cell Type – This cell type is the worst type of mesothelioma, and has a negative prognosis.

How a Treatment is Selected

Treatments and procedures for mesothelioma are selected after considering the characteristicsand cell types above. There are standard treatments, which have been tested on previouspatient studies, and are most commonly used. There are also trials and/or experimental treatments that may be explored at the patient’s or doctor’s wishes.

Malignant Mesothelioma and Standard Treatments

The most common treatment of malignant mesothelioma is a surgery in which the doctor will remove part of the abdomen or chest lining and some tissue surrounding it. A lung may be removed or part of the diaphragm, based on how far the mesothelioma has spread. Removal of the lung is a procedure called “pneumonectomy.”Radiation and/or chemotherapy are also a part of the standard treatments along with the surgery. Radiation kills off cancer cells using high-energy rays or x-rays. Chemotherapy kills cancer cells using drugs taken either by pill or needle injection.Each of these treatments will result in side effects, varying from one patient to the next.

Intraoperative Photodynamic Therapy

This is a type of treatment which utilizes light and drugs to kill the cancer cells during a surgical procedure. The goal of the surgery is to remove the cancer (as much as possible), and to shine alight on the pleura, killing additional cancer cells. Studies of this type of surgery are being performed on patients in the early stages of mesothelioma of the chest.

Clinical Tests

Occasionally a mesothelioma patient may be urged to participate in experimental treatment options, where the patient will be exposed to new ideas and procedures that are being developed. Oftentimes, traditional treatments will be combined with new tests to find more effective ways of fighting mesothelioma. These options are available for patients who may not be able to endure the standard treatments for health or physical reasons.

The earlier mesothelioma is detected in a patient, the better the prognosis. Each patient should be aware of all treatment options before making a decision, and also consult with a specialist to learn the best option for them.

About the Author

Gust A. Lenglet has been an accountant and financial advisor for many years. He is President and CEO of HBS Financial Group, Ltd. and offers online tax filing through his many web sites. He is also an accomplished author in the tax, legal, and education fields.

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