Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Your mesothelioma treatment will depend on a variety of factors. Your cancer care team will determine the most effective options for you.

Mesothelioma targeted therapies limit cancer cell growth and deprive them of oxygen. They are often used in combination with chemotherapy drugs.

Doctors are cautious when performing the cytoreductive surgery for patients with epithelioid histology. However, the procedure improves survival.


Chemotherapy is a treatment option to treat mesothelioma. It is also a popular treatment. It utilizes anti-cancer drugs to kill mesothelioma cancer cells and stop them from growing. Typically, doctors will administer chemotherapy via injections. They can also administer the drug through an incision (intravenously). For patients with pleural mesothelioma the combination of pemetrexed and carboplatin or cisplatin is the most often prescribed for patients. It is typically given every 3 weeks to complete a series of treatments, known as cycles. During chemotherapy, patients will be afflicted with side effects that could vary in intensity. These side effects can include nausea and vomiting. These side effects will subside when the treatment ceases.

For mesothelioma of the peritoneal region chemotherapy is typically delivered directly into the abdomen via the procedure known as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, or HIPEC. This procedure is usually performed in conjunction with surgery.

It is important to discuss all mesothelioma treatment options available to you with a specialist doctor. This can help people know the risks as well as the benefits and negative side effects of each treatment option. A mesothelioma expert with a good track record will have a lot of experience treating mesothelioma and be capable of providing a wealth of information. They’ll be able answer any questions that patients or their loved ones may have.

It is important to find mesothelioma specialists since it is a rare disease. This will ensure that patients receive the best treatment possible.

If you aren’t sure about the options for treatment your mesothelioma doctor suggests, it could be worth getting a second opinion. You’ll be more confident in the plan that your doctor has laid out.

Many patients with mesothelioma are qualified for clinical trials that test new treatments. They can be an ideal option for patients who have exhausted all other treatment options. If you are interested to participate in a mesothelioma-related clinical trial, contact your physician to determine if you are eligible. For more information on mesothelioma clinical trials, go to our Clinical Trials page.

Radiation Therapy

The spread of mesothelioma can make it difficult to eliminate with surgery or other treatments. There are some palliative treatments that can alleviate symptoms, such as pain. Certain of these options require minimal invasiveness. One non-invasive option is to have a doctor drain excess fluid from the affected area. This can ease pressure on the stomach or lungs organs and lessen pain.

Another treatment option is chemotherapy, which employs drugs to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Systemic chemotherapy works by traveling throughout the body to kill cancerous cells. Doctors may use systemic chemotherapy prior to mesothelioma surgery (neoadjuvant therapy) to make them more comfortable and also after surgery to decrease the chance of recurrence.

Radiation therapy, which makes use of radiation beams to eliminate mesothelioma tumors and slow their growth, can be used for both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. In addition to killing cancer cells, radiation also can help with symptom management for chest pain and breathing difficulties. For patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma radiation can be administered after an operation known as cytoreduction, which involves heated chemotherapy.

In a cytoreduction procedure, surgeons remove abdominal tumors and then cleanse the abdominal cavity using the use of a type of chemotherapy that is heated called HIPEC. The radiation can be administered to the area by doctors to ease symptoms and improves survival rates.

Patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma stages 1 or 2 are candidates for surgical removal of a part of the pleura. The surgeons remove as many tumor tissues as they can and also nearby tissues, such as diaphragms and pericardiums. Some hospitals offer heated intraoperative chemotherapy to eliminate any remaining tumors after surgery.

Combining treatments is typically the most effective option for patients suffering from mesothelioma. Most doctors favor multimodal approaches, which includes chemotherapy, surgery, and sometimes radiation in conjunction with immunotherapy. A lot of these treatments are considered experimental and have not yet been approved by the FDA. Consult your physician about the potential benefits of these treatments. Be aware of possible negative side effects like nausea, fatigue and the risk of infection.


Doctors have many options for pleural mesothelioma surgeries to remove cancerous tissues or improve symptoms. Mesothelioma is more prevalent in the lung tissue (pleura) however, it can also begin in the the chest cavity or the tummy (peritoneum).

Before surgery, your doctor will test for the stage of your mesothelioma. This helps them select the best treatment. The most common tests include a physical exam, chest X-rays and CT scans. Other tests may include blood tests or biopsy to determine the health of your organs.

A biopsy involves inserting a needle into the abdomen, chest or groin area to take samples of fluid or tissue samples. The samples are then examined under a microscope to see whether they are mesothelioma cells. MRI can also be used by doctors to obtain images of mesothelioma cell structures without surgery.

After the biopsy, specialists in mesothelioma may discuss the results of the biopsy with you. They may recommend a plan of multimodal treatment. This is the best way to prolong life and improve the quality of life.

In a multimodal treatment program doctors mix different kinds of treatments, such as chemotherapy with surgery or radiation. They will design a custom treatment plan that will meet your needs and goals. The doctor will also provide you with information about the treatment and possible side effects.

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to eliminate cancerous cells and stop their growth or division. It’s the most common type of systemic therapy for mesothelioma and is usually given in combination with other treatments. Mesothelioma patients must be aware that chemotherapy drugs can cause a wide variety of adverse reactions that range from nausea and hair loss to vomiting and fatigue. It is essential to keep your doctor updated on any new prescription drugs you’re taking as well as any herbal supplements or supplements you’re consuming.

When stage 3 mesothelioma treatment are deciding on a course of treatment, it’s important to speak with your doctor about your goals. Many patients find that their mesothelioma treatment extends their lives beyond their initial prognosis. Pleural mesothelioma patients have survived for decades after undergoing EPP, which is a radical surgery to remove the affected lung. Others have lived for more than 10 years after receiving chemotherapy and HIPEC. This combination eliminates the most cancerous tissue possible.

Treatment of Symptoms

The most common treatment for mesothelioma includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The choice of treatments depends on a variety of variables, including the stage (extent) of the cancer, whether or not it is not resectable, and the patient’s general health and preferences. Certain patients with mesothelioma might choose to participate in clinical trials that test new treatment options or doses of existing ones.

Many people suffering from pleural asbestosis experience coughing, chest pain and breathing difficulties. Additionally, they frequently have other symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating and fatigue. These symptoms are a result of fluid accumulation in the pleura. It can press against the chest wall and limit airflow. These symptoms can be relieved by taking medication.

A doctor will assess the patient who is suspected to have mesothelioma and order imaging tests, for example X-rays or CT scans. They may also conduct blood and urine tests to determine if the patient has certain proteins related to mesothelioma. They can also have the procedure known as thoracentesis, or paracentesis, which is the removal of a sample fluid from the lung. In some instances they may also drain the fluid by performing a procedure called pleurodesis or decortication.

Mesothelioma can spread to the lymph nodes and various other areas of the body. Therefore, the doctor might order additional tests to determine how far the disease has progressed. They assign an appropriate stage to the mesothelioma based on the results of these tests. A lower number indicates that the mesothelioma is localized to the lung. A higher number indicates that it has spread.

Many people with mesothelioma can improve their quality of living by making lifestyle adjustments. Patients can change their lifestyles like eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. They may also consider nonpharmacological treatments such as massage and physical therapy to reduce their symptoms. Some people with mesothelioma have discovered that acupuncture can be beneficial in managing their pain. Support networks can assist patients in their treatment and recovery. They can assist patients with meals, transportation and other tasks. They can also offer emotional assistance.

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