Mesothelioma treatment can include both traditional and alternative medicine options. Some holistic healing methods can be used in conjunction with mainstream medical treatments, potentially improving—if not prolonging—a patients’ quality of life. After experiencing a mesothelioma diagnosis, it’s important to explore all of your options for managing the disease.
Traditional treatment of mesothelioma typically falls into three major categories: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Surgery involves the removal cancer from the body—sometimes just the tumor itself and sometimes the entire affected organ. Radiation therapy utilizes x-rays to combat and kill the cancerous cells directly. Chemotherapy—often the treatment option of choice in traditional settings—employs the same therapeutic goal as radiation but utilizes drugs to achieve a similar effect.
Frequently a traditional mesothelioma treatment plan will incorporate two of the aforementioned types of treatments, or even all three at once. None of these treatments is considered a ‘cure’ for the disease.
Several other options for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma fall under the umbrella of alternative or non-traditional medicine. While there is no scientific evidence that alternative treatment methods are effective at eliminating the cancerous cells that cause mesothelioma, some have been shown to improve patient wellbeing and make the illness more manageable.
One of the simplest alternative treatment techniques involves the patient sitting next to or across from a fan, with the airflow blowing directly towards the face. Many mesothelioma victims find that this relatively easy and inexpensive provision provides assistance with the sensation of breathlessness that often plagues them.
Incorporating relaxation techniques is another popular alternative choice for managing mesothelioma and its associated pain and discomfort. Specific methods vary, from meditation to yoga—all are designed promote a sense of calm and tranquility in the practitioner. Relaxation of the mind and body can make breathing easier, as tension affects the diaphragm as well as most other major muscles.
One of the most promising alternative mesothelioma treatment methods is immunotherapy, also called biotherapy. This cutting-edge approach is still being assessed in clinical trials but does appear to show some promise as an effective treatment technique. Patients undergoing immunotherapy are administered one of several types of vaccines intended to fight the cancer by stimulating their immune systems. One major downside to this option is that patients must be approved for participation in one of the active clinical trials, a process which can take time.
Several naturally occurring plants and herbs are said to be effective in treating mesothelioma, though research in the areas is lacking. One that has received some degree of scientific study is the Ashwagandha plant, which has long been used within the alternative realm of Hindi medicine.
It is important that anyone wishing to try alternative healing methods approach rumored ‘cure-all’ remedies with great caution. As of yet, no method—traditional or otherwise—has proven effective for eradicating mesothelioma cancer. Rather, all mesothelioma treatment methods are intended to both prolong and improve the lives of its victims.