Mesothelioma treatment remains a daunting challenge for both the physician as well as the patient. Because the disease is so rare, research is minimal and clinical studies are sparse at best. What this means is that doctors still have a lot to learn about mesothelioma and more importantly how to treat the disease. The kind of mesothelioma diagnosis the patient receives, greatly dictates what kind of treatment option they receive. This is crucial because the kind of treatment a patient receives can greatly determine how long they will survive.
Mesothelioma treatment like other malignancy treatment focuses not just on eradicating malignant cells but preserving the healthy cells. The first decision when planning treatment is to choose the right doctor. Choosing the right doctor starts with the patient doing research to find the right one. Once you are comfortable with the doctor that you select, they will formulate a plan for treating your mesothelioma. This treatment plan will depend on the location of mesothelioma, the cell type, your general health, and most importantly the stage of cancer. Your doctor will use all of these factors when coming up with a strategy for your treatment. Most likely your doctor will consult with other medical professionals regarding your treatment plan. These medical professionals can include doctors such as oncologists, pulmonologists, and radiologists. All of these doctors offer the patient valuable mesothelioma help in fighting the disease.
When discussing mesothelioma treatment options with your doctor, it is a good idea to be familiar with each one. The stage of your mesothelioma will dictate what kind of treatment your doctor recommends. Generally, those with stage I or stage II mesothelioma are the best candidates for surgery as the disease has not metastasized to other organs. Since mesothelioma cancer is usually diagnosed in later stages, surgery is not a curative measure. Your doctor will also probably recommend a combination of chemotherapy and or radiation. These two treatments are designed to kill any remaining cancer cells that are left over after surgery. If a patient is not a candidate for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation become the main treatment options.
Besides the conventional mesothelioma treatment options, doctors also use other techniques. These include gene therapy, immunotherapy, and alternative medicine. These experimental treatment methods offer patients the chance to participate in clinical trials. Alternative medicine is also an option for patients. It usually includes acupuncture, meditation, and nutritional resources. One of the main benefits of alternative medicine for the mesothelioma patient is that it has no side effects. Whether you have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma or another form, it is a good idea to consult with a qualified doctor so you can be guided to the best possible treatment plan. In the end, the sooner you receive treatment, the quicker you can begin the recovery process.