Unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma — but there are ways to improve your prognosis through treatment. The asbestos attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are passionate about fighting for the financial future of mesothelioma victims and their families, and connecting them with the best medical care possible.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Typically, mesothelioma treatment involves a combination of the following:
- Surgery: Often an effective treatment for patients in the early stages of mesothelioma, surgery is designed to remove as much of the cancer as possible.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a nonsurgical treatment used to shrink tumors and kill the remaining cancer cells.
- Radiation: Radiation targets and destroys cancerous mesothelioma cells, preventing them from metastasizing.
Types of Surgery
There are a few types of surgery for pleural mesothelioma (the most common type of mesothelioma, which affects the lungs).
- Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP): Typically performed on stage 1 and 2 patients, EPP involves the removal of the cancerous lung, the lining around it, and part of the diaphragm.
- Pleurectomy and Decortication (P/D): Rather than remove the entire lung, P/D removes the pleural lining around the lung and all visible tumor masses.
- Cytoreductive Surgery: A cytoreduction involves the removal of the lining of the abdomen.
Patients who are not eligible for surgery often undergo chemotherapy. The standard first-line treatment is cisplatin with pemetrexed. This treatment is usually delivered to the patient through an IV into the bloodstream. Other times, the doctor may heat the chemotherapy drugs and deliver them locally following surgery. In the event the cancer grows, the patient may undergo second-line chemotherapy with other medications.
Radiation therapy is used to ease chest pain, discomfort, and other symptoms when surgery is not an option. When used in conjunction with surgery, radiation therapy can be useful in reducing the risk of local recurrence. Some doctors apply radiation before surgery to shrink tumors and make them easier to remove.