Treatment for Mesothelioma Includes Radiation Therapy, as well as a Combination of Surgery and Chemotherapy.
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It includes historical information about asbestos, as well as some basic information about mesothelioma and the treatment options currently available. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), external beam radiation therapy, which uses radiation delivered from outside the body that is focused on the cancer, is the preferred type of radiation therapy to treat mesothelioma.
The ASC compares these treatments to getting a diagnostic x-ray, saying
the basic difference is that they take a longer time.
The organization explains that a typical course of treatment takes anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks of daily treatments (5 days a week).
The treatment does have its limitations, the ACS cautions, pointing out that in general, mesothelioma is not helped much by radiotherapy because it is relatively resistant to the effects of radiotherapy. Also, the need to treat a large part of the lung leads to problems with lung damage.
Chemotherapy has typically been used over the years to try to shrink mesothelioma tumors. Doctors such as Harvey I. Pass, MD have now found that it may be best to combine surgery and chemotherapy, using newer drugs in people who are healthy enough to tolerate them. The newer drugs have been found to work better than the drugs in the past, and combining them with surgery could allow people to live longer.
In the book “100 Questions & Answers about Mesothelioma,” authors Pass, Laura Roy, RN and Susan Vento give a comprehensive overview of many of the treatment options available.
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