Know your asbestos lung cancer treatment options
Seeking treatment for asbestos lung cancer can be a complicated process. It raises many questions: what will my insurance cover? How far along is my asbestos lung cancer, and what does this mean for my treatment options? What will be my quality of life? How can I afford treatment for asbestos lung cancer?
Weitz & Luxenberg has helped our clients get the compensation to afford the best possible treatment for asbestos lung cancer and asbestos-related diseases since 1986, and we have seen our clients' medical options improve when they are able to afford new and experimental treatments. If you have asbestos lung cancer and are preoccupied with what your treatment options are and how you will cover the cost of treatment, read on.
Asbestos lung cancer treatment option 1: surgery
If doctors diagnose your asbestos lung cancer while it is still in the early stages, surgery is an option. There are four primary methods of surgery, which the Mayo Clinic lists as:
- Surgery to decrease fluid buildup.
- Surgery to remove the tissue around the lungs or abdomen.
- Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible (debulking).
- Surgery to remove a lung and the surrounding tissue.
Even if the surgeon removes all tumors and visible cancer during surgery, some patients undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any malignant cells that may be left in the body. Adding chemotherapy and/ or radiation after surgery is called adjuvant therapy, and its purpose is to lower the risk of recurrence. (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/malignantmesothelioma/patient/page4)
Sometimes other methods of fighting cancer are used before surgery, to make it easier, and to weaken the cancer. Using chemotherapy before surgery is called “neoadjuvant therapy.”
Asbestos lung cancer treatment option 2: radiation
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams of radiation to target the part or parts of your body where there is cancer. It can be administered internally or externally—that is, they can target the cancer with radioactive beams outside your body, or they can put a device inside your body, near the cancer, to send those beams at a much shorter distance.
The American Cancer Society explains:
“External beam radiation”... uses a machine that sends high-energy rays from outside the body to the tumor and some of the area around the tumor.
Internal radiation therapy... allows the doctor to give a large amount of radiation to the cancer cells. The radioactive source, which might look like a wire, pellet, or seed, comes in a small sealed container called an implant. The implant is put into or near the tumor, and the radiation travels only a very short distance.
Because of the machinery and skill involved in giving radiation therapy or in putting in a radiant device, radiation is expensive. Most healthcare plans will pay for radiation therapy. But even if yours does not, you should not rule it out.
Your asbestos lung cancer was caused by the negligence of the asbestos companies that exposed you to their toxic products. You did not deserve this asbestos lung cancer, but you deserve the best cancer treatments available.
Asbestos lung cancer treatment option 3: chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a series of drugs that you are given on a schedule, and these drugs are designed to either kill cancer cells or prevent cancer cells from dividing, depending on the kind of chemo. (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/malignantmesothelioma/patient/page4#Keypoint1)
There are different ways to administer chemotherapy, and each has a different purpose.
- Regional chemotherapy: when doctors put the anticancer drugs in an organ, cavity, or the spinal column. Regional chemotherapy fights cancer cells in one area of the body—in our case, the lungs.
- Systemic chemotherapy: you take the drugs orally, or they are injected into your veins or a muscle. The drugs enter the bloodstream and affect the entire body.
- Combination chemotherapy: using more than one drug to fight the cancer.
Most cures for cancer involve more than one anticancer agent—the range is one to seven agents, but researchers note that “one agent is curative, but a higher cure rate results with two or more.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK13955/table/A10767/?report=objectonly)
So in addition to chemotherapy, radiation and surgery combining with one another in the fight against cancer, chemotherapy itself is usually a combination of different anticancer drugs. The fight against cancer is involved and expensive, but these treatments are something we can help you get the compensation to afford.
Your asbestos lung cancer treatments do not have to put you in debt
Contact Weitz & Luxenberg today if you are struggling with the costs of treatment for asbestos lung cancer. You do not have to fight your asbestos cancer alone. Call Weitz & Luxenberg or fill out a form for a free consultation.