Conventional Mesothelioma Therapies / Treatments

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Conventional Mesothelioma Therapies / Treatments

After a cancer diagnoses, most patients are faced with difficult decisions related to selecting a form of treatment. For every case, it is a very personal decision, and one that needs to be made with the advice of a physician. There are many types of treatments out there—some conventional, some experimental, and some holistic. The most popular choice is often one that consists of a combination of a few therapies. Typically, the age and the physical health of the patient are main factors in treatment choice. Another factor to be considered is what stage your cancer has progressed to.
Understanding your options, and weighing how you would like to spend your time with loved ones may help you make your decision.

Types of Treatments
Chemotherapy: This is the major focus of all reputable cancer research today. In essence, it uses drugs that kill cancer cells. These drugs can also be used to increase the effectiveness of radiation and immuotherapy. While there are many chemotherapy drugs on the market, each functions a little bit differently; however, they all strive to kill cancerous cells and keep them from reproducing. Unfortunately, the drugs are very potent, and they can affect healthy cells as well, especially cells that grow quickly, like hair cells, and those found in the digestive system. This explains the most well known side effects of chemotherapy—hair loss and nausea. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously or orally.

Surgery: There are two types of surgery used to treat cancer patients.
Palliative Surgery: This form typically aids to alleviate the physical stress caused by the tumor on the surrounding organs, or the symptoms of the disease. Patients that are too ill for more invasive forms of surgery may opt for this type to relieve some of the pain from the tumor that has grown beyond the mesothelium.
Curative Surgery: Removing an entire tumor and decreasing the chances of spreading with the hopes of potentially curing the patient of the disease is the goal of this form of treatment. While it is very invasive, patients may enter remission following surgery. In some cases, a portion of the affected organ may also be removed.

Radiation: Often used in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy, radiation attempts to kill cancerous cells and stop them from dividing. Similar to chemotherapy, radiation also attacks healthy cells, therefore it must be directed as precisely as possible. For some patients, radiation is also used as a palliative method to reduce the pain caused by the cancer. In general, radiation can be administered in two forms, internally or externally.
Internal Radiation: An unsealed form of internal radiation is usually delivered by a pill or an injection; sealed internal radiation can be implanted into the body in a seed, capsule, or wire.
External Radiation: This is produced by a machine that is the radiation source. Typically an outpatient procedure, it can take five days a week, for several weeks to be conducted properly.
Overall, radiation has several side effects that need to be considered, because it may alter how you feel during the time spent with friends and family. Some side effects include fatigue, nausea, hair loss, and shortness of breath.

Obviously, learning your diagnosis of mesothelioma is hard to comprehend, and the having to select a form of treatment to extend your life isn\'t easy. However, with the guidance of a skilled doctor and your own research about treatments, you are sure to make the best choice for your situation.

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