Common Treatments For Mesothelioma

Understanding Mesothelioma Treatments

Mesothelioma is always considered a fatal disease, but innovations and improvements in treatments have made it possible for many victims to live in greater comfort and to enjoy longer survival times than had previously been realized. Every mesothelioma patient’s condition is different and decisions about treatment should be made in keeping with your own values and goals and in consultation with your medical specialist, your family and friends, and others who are important to you.

Among the factors to be considered when making your decision are:

1. The type of mesothelioma you have 

2. The stage of your cancer

3. Your age and overall health

4. Whether your goal is to extend your life as long as possible or focus on quality of life

In almost all cases, patients will receive a combination of surgery with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. Some patients will be treated using newer technologies such as immunotherapy, and some will choose complementary treatments to help alleviate discomfort and stress. In all cases, treatment decisions begin with a clear understanding of the individual’s condition.

Before Treatment: Staging

Decisions about treatment of mesothelioma always begin with staging the disease. Staging determines where the cancer’s tumors are and tracks their progression. It relies on imaging tests including CT scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to measure the size and distribution of the disease and to determine whether the lymph nodes and various organs are involved.
Though individual specialists may use different staging methodologies, the most frequently used is the TNM (Tumor Node Metastasis) system, which assesses the size and location of tumor tissue (T); the presence of cancer in lymph nodes (N); and whether the cancer’s tumors have metastasized (M). A number is assigned to indicate whether the cancer is in stage 1, 2, 3, or 4, with stages 1 and 2 indicating that the disease is localized and stages 3 and 4 indicating widespread involvement and multiple tumors.

Treatment Options For Mesothelioma Patients

Some of the most common surgical procedures for malignant mesothelioma:

Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer, Asbestosis, and Other Diseases Related to Asbestos

Though malignant mesothelioma is the deadliest illness associated with exposure to asbestos, the mineral has been linked to several other serious illnesses and malignancies. In fact, there are records of asbestos-related illnesses dating back to Ancient Rome, when slave owners were advised never to purchase asbestos quarry slaves because they so frequently died young of a variety of lung ailments. 

Today we know that exposure to asbestos is linked to:

Lung Cancer

Pleural Plaques

Pleural Effusions


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