How do you Treat Mesothelioma?
Your Consultant will advise you of a number of treatment options
available to you once diagnosed with the asbestos related illness, Mesothelioma.
The best one for you will depend upon many factors such as:
- progression of the disease
- your general health, and
- your feelings on the best treatment for you
You should discuss each mesothelioma treatment option fully with your treating Consultant
before making a decision.
You may wish to explore the option of
compensation to help with cost of any treatment or to support you and your family during this time; our specialist Mesothelioma
Team can help you with this.
Options exist for treating mesothelioma patients:
This procedure involves removing the lining of the lung. Its advantages include
a quicker recovery time: which is useful for those patients whose health would prevent
them from undergoing the other available surgical procedure. The disadvantages include
increased risk of recurrence of the disease as the procedure is unable to remove
all traces of the disease.
This procedure involves removing the entire affected lung, the pleura (lining of
the lung) and the pericardium surrounding the heart and the diaphragm. The hospital
will only offer this treatment to patients who demonstrate good heart and lung function.
Its advantage is that it aims at removing a larger proportion of the disease during
surgery. The main disadvantage is that it is a very radical procedure and more risk
is involved along with a longer recovery time following surgery.
Chemotherapy treatment uses anti-cancer drugs, usually injected into the bloodstream.
These drugs act to prevent the cancer cells from multiplying. Typically, to increase
the effectiveness they will use a combination of drugs. Depending on the type of
drugs used to treat you, treatment times can vary from every week or every 2 or
Chemotherapy treatment slows down the growth and spread of the disease and acts
to control symptoms. The most common drugs used include Gemcitabine (Gemzar), Carboplatin
(Paraplatin) and Cisplatin (Platinol). Recently, a new anti-cancer drug called Pemetrexed
Disodium or Alimta has proven effective in controlling symptoms as well as extending
the survival time of mesothelioma patients by, on average, one third.
Radiotherapy treatment is sometimes used to slow down growth and spread of the cancer
and also to control the symptoms of the disease. It involves using high energy x-rays
to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. Radiotherapy has recently proven effective
in preventing seeding which can cause recurrence of the tumour at biopsy and chest
fluid drainage sites of the patient.
Mesothelioma Treatment Study
A recent study using a three-fold approach to treating mesothelioma has been deemed
effective. By combining Pleurectomy, Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy treatments the
study's results have demonstrated positive survival results and morbidity and warrants
The future - Medical advances in treating Mesothelioma
A new centre has recently opened in Sydney's Concord Hospital, which is to become
home to the world's 1st asbestos institute. The Bernie Banton Centre, named after
an Australian social justice campaigner who died from an asbestos related illness
in November 2007, is the world's largest facility dedicated to providing early diagnosis
and treatment for victims. The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has pledged
$5 million funding to the $12 million centre.
Meanwhile, in the USA, researchers in the University of Pennsylvania and the National
Cancer Institute have generated altered immune cells that have shrunk and in some
cases, eradicated tumours in mice. Clinical trials are being developed to investigate
this approach in patients with mesothelioma.
These developments help to provide a glimmer of hope to the growing number of sufferers
If you have been diagnosed or are receiving treatment for Mesothelioma,
please call our Asbestos Illness Team today on freephone: 0808 129 3320 or
use our free, no obligation, online enquiry form to register
for a call back as you and your family may be entitled to compensation.