There are four types of treatment of Mesothelioma cancer.
If your cancer is relatively contained in the lining around the lungs or the abdomen, you may be eligible for aggressive surgery. This option can be potentially curative. In addition to an aggressive surgery, you may be given some type of radiation and chemotherapy with the goal of killing the cancer cells that are left behind after surgery.
There also are less traumatic and more palliative surgeries available. Often these are used if you are not healthy enough to withstand the strain of a major surgery, or if the cancer already has spread. The goal of these surgeries is to relieve some of your symptoms and help you to feel better. You may also have chemotherapy and radiation before or after these surgeries.
Chemotherapy is used in treating most types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Chemotherapy drugs, which are usually delivered by an IV into a vein in your arm, are designed to kill cancer cells.
The most common and most successful chemotherapy drugs for someone with mesothelioma are cisplatin and pemetrexed. A milder chemotherapy cocktail that uses pemetrexed with carboplatin often achieves the same results but with fewer side effects.
If you have peritoneal mesothelioma, your doctor may suggest a multimodal treatment called heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Also known as heated chemotherapy, this therapy is given immediately after surgery to help kill off the microscopic cancer cells that surgeons unavoidably miss. In one study involving more than 400 peritoneal patients, overall median survival after HIPEC extended beyond four years.
Because chemotherapy drugs affect cancer cells as well as healthy cells, you may feel worse after treatment. This is why some patients choose not to have chemotherapy. For many people, however, this feeling and other negative side effects wear off over time, and they experience notable improvements. A good specialist can help you understand your options.
Radiation Therapy :
Radiation therapy is noninvasive and uses high-energy rays to target the cancer. It is typically paired with other treatment options to help shrink tumors or manage tumor growth. It doesn’t have the strong side effects that chemotherapy does, and it often helps reduce the physical pain of mesothelioma.
However, because radiation can be toxic to various organs, and damages DNA while killing cancer cells, it is used sparingly and only with certain types of mesothelioma. Radiation also can be used in a palliative situation when surgery is no longer an option.
Multimodal Therapy :
While each cancer treatment option may have benefits by itself, cancer specialists often opt for a more effective multimodal approach — a patient-tailored mix of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. This strategy involves specialists in each field putting together a plan that is right for you.
Some people who try this multi-faceted approach are able to control mesothelioma. The key is involving specialists in each of the fields working together.