Military veterans comprise the largest occupational group to be impacted by asbestos toxicity and its related medical conditions-including a fatal form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
The following six-part series is dedicated to them.
A highly hazardous carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent-asbestos was used in countless construction projects of every U.S. Military branch, with a particularly high incidence of usage within the U.S. Navy.
Decades after asbestos-containing materials were banned by the military across the board, thousands of vets have been diagnosed with a range of exposure-linked illnesses, incurring millions of dollars in medical costs and an immeasurable amount of pain and grief for both the service men and women affected and the military families forced to endure the tragedy along with them.
In PART SIX, we’ll outline the basic forms of treatment used to combat mesothelioma-including both conventional and alternative options available to affected veterans.
Once you are diagnosed, a cancer specialist-called an oncologist-will be your mesothelioma treatment guide. Depending upon the type, location and stage of your cancer-as well as personal factors including your age and overall health-he or she will help you choose the best treatment plan. More often than not, patients undergo a combination approach called multimodal treatment. This frequently includes at least two of the conventional modalities and often also incorporates alternative methods at the same time.
Your Mesothelioma Treatment Guide to Conventional Methods
There are three conventional-medicine approaches to combating cancer: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Recent research has shown that these modalities are best used in conjunction-and a particularly notable rate of success was observed in patients who underwent the surgical removal of cancer-affected tissue, followed by a round of chemo.
Surgery, while not shown to be particularly successful alone, is an integral part of producing remission in most patients. Unfortunately, only those with early-stage cancer are eligible. Once a patient has progressed to stage 4 mesothelioma, surgical intervention is no longer possible as the cancer has spread beyond a specific, operable region.
Your Mesothelioma Treatment Guide to Alternative Options
Alternative forms of treatment for mesothelioma encompass a variety of holistic and homeopathic techniques. Though most have not been studied much in the U.S. and therefore are not widely endorsed by the American medical community, several alternative treatments have been endorsed for hundreds of years in other cultures and have a long reputation of possessing exceptional curative properties.
Some of the most common alternative treatment methods include the ingestion of certain herbs; adherence to specific diets, such as vegetarianism; the use of particular nutritional supplements, including high doses of vitamin C; and even a method called hydrogen peroxide therapy. Other methods of treatment include positive-thinking, acupuncture and relaxation techniques.
But widely regarded as the most promising alternative options are mesothelioma clinical trials, which allow patients to take part in studies being conducted on new and emerging treatment methods that have not yet been approved for use with the general public. Though participation does carry some degree risk, it is often deemed to be the best available chance for treatment success-especially for those in the late stages of mesothelioma.