Mesothelioma Treatments

Mesothelioma Treatments

There are several factors to consider for choosing the right alternatives for treatment of malignant  mesothelioma. These include the severity of cancer, its location, and the patient’s age and overall health.

The three standard treatment options for mesothelioma are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, or the patient can choose a natural cure of mesothelioma as an alternative.

The physician may opt to choose one or combine the treatments. According to the cure rate with mesothelioma is minimal or difficult so far,  a total cure for mesothelioma has not been found so far, and it can only be treated and lengthen the time of life left.

Treatment Guidelines

Stage of Cancer

It’s easier to treat the tumor when it is still localized. Once it has spread to other organs, the chances of treating the cancerous cells diminish. Regional and distant spreading are also considered when looking at treatment options.

Type of Mesothelioma

The type depends on the location of the cancerous cells and tumor. There are treatment procedures that will fit some organs and not others. This is especially based on how easy such a condition can affect the surrounding cells.

Cell Type

Different cancerous cells respond to treatment procedures differently. Some may spread to other areas as others diminish. This is why doctors conduct thorough checks before administering treatment.

Overall Health

Older patients and those with poor health experience difficulties with treatment. The aggressive type of cancerous cells may lead to faster progression.

Surgery Treatment

Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Form of Cancer – Areas of the Body

Surgery is the most common treatment for mesothelioma. Before undergoing surgery, however, the patient must do various tests to determine whether the option of surgery is absolutely safe depending on the condition of the patient and the spread of the tumor. Two types of surgery, aggressive surgery, and palliative surgery are performed to remove cancer cells affecting the body.

Aggressive surgery is usually performed on younger patients with generally good health. In this type of surgery, the affected organs are removed with the intention of totally eliminating as much cancer as possible. Treatments should be backed by the American society for dermatologic surgery treatment guidelines

List of Hospitals and Specialists

Palliative Procedures

Palliative procedures are performed in the later stages of mesothelioma. This is done to alleviate the symptoms suffered by patients. Palliative surgery includes removing of fluids from the lungs to relieve loss of breath. This is called thoracentesis. The removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis.

Radiation also  known as radiotherapy is where high energy x-rays are used to shrink tumors and kill off cancerous cells in the affected area. Like surgery, there are two methods of radiotherapy. One is through external means, when a machine emits radiation outside the body. The other way would use plastic tubes as a source of radiation to directly emit rays onto the affected area. In this method of treatment, however, the right dose of radiation that would effectively remove the tumor is very difficult to determine.

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs. These drugs are aimed to kill cancer cells throughout the body. There are two ways to administer chemotherapy to a patient. One can be done intravenously (IV) or by injecting the drug into the vein of the patient. The other way is by taking it in the form of a tablet. As the medicine enters the bloodstream and travels through the body cancer cells are killed along the way.

New Treatment For Mesothelioma Lung Cancer

When it comes to modern medicine, anyone living with mesothelioma would have five options to choose from:


It’s about the removal of the tumor along with some of the surrounding tissues. It is the first thing any cancer specialist would consider. However, surgery is not practicable in all the cases, sometimes location does not allow it, and in other instances, cancer is too widespread. If the tumor is not in an advanced stage, in most cases, urgent surgical removal would be the first choice.

Radiation Therapy

It can be used both in conjunction with surgery or as a standalone treatment. Cancer specialist may use it before surgery or after the surgery. In some cases, it may be deployed without surgery to shrink the tumor and increase the lifespan of the patient. It involves killing as many cancer cells as possible with the help of radiation.


Systemic chemotherapy is given in most cases; a few combination drugs are known to prolong life by few months in mesothelioma. Many so-called second-line drugs are under development with promising initial results.

Multimodal Treatment

It would be perhaps the method of choice in early stages; it is a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Multimodal treatment carried out aggressively in early stages is known to produce excellent results.

Clinical Trials

Many new and promising drugs are in the pipeline. Immunotherapy is making significant strides these days. However, it takes almost decade for any new therapy to make to the clinics from the labs. Participating in the trials gives the early access to promising therapies.

Natural Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma

It is one of the underestimated modes of treatment. However, hope is always there as proven by some of the long-term survivors. Some of the well known natural therapies for cancer are;

Nutrition Therapy

Cancer patients keep on losing body weight, in many cases, they may have difficulties in swallowing, so nutrition therapy can prolong their lifespan significantly.

Herbal Medicines

All cancer patients are different, in some cases, herbal remedies may do wonders, and they are always worth giving a try. Medical cannabis is one of the promising remedies for cancer control and pain relief.

Practice Mindfulness

Stress and wrong attitude can quickly worsen the things; most doctors agree that those who refuse to give up have much better hopes of long-term Thus you can practice yoga, tai chi, meditation, or use any other methods to counter the stress.

Body-Based Therapies

Acupuncture, acupressure, and TENS are some of the options to explore.

Traditional Medicine Systems

These systems are poorly understood, though they have been enriched by the centuries of human experience. Thus one can give Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese medicine a try.

Other Methods

Emotional counseling and other therapies that affect the emotional wellbeing may help too. Thus music therapy to aromatherapy, all must be considered.

Average Cost of Mesothelioma Treatment

Considering that each cancer patient is unique, it would be difficult to predict the costs of the treatment. However, in most cases, mesothelioma treatment is quite expensive. Thus patients are often involved in a double battle, one against cancer and another against the financial burden.

The average cost of surgical procedures for mesothelioma is around $40,000, as in most cases surgery is quite complex in nature and requires particular expertise.

Cost of two months of chemotherapy may be around $30,000. However, lots would depend on the type of drugs used. Newer drugs may cost much more. Immunotherapy is also a costly option.

Radiation therapy is among the most effective options for suppressing cancer, and cost depends on the number of séances. It is estimated that cost of one month of radiation therapy is around $2000. In long-term survivors, who may get radiation therapy for long, these costs may be as high as $50,000.

Emerging Therapies

Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are first-line treatments for any type of cancers including mesothelioma, although things are not straightforward as it may sound. Surgery is not practicable in many advanced cases or in specific locations. Without surgery radiation therapy may have a limited role. Systemic chemotherapy is only mildly useful and has many severe side effects. Thus there is ongoing research for novel new drugs, with many in the pipeline. Many new drugs are in the last stage of trials and thus raising the hopes of better survival.

Immunotherapy is one of the most promising fields. It is about creating therapeutic vaccines. Another strategy is for modifying the T-cells (cells of the immune system) of the patient so that they can identify the cancer cells and kill them. These cells are modified in lab conditions, multiplied, and reinjected to the patient. Such therapy has already shown excellent results in many types of cancers.

Survival Statistics For Mesothelioma

  • Although, long-term survival would depend on many factors, however, on average a 2-year survival rate in stage 1 is almost close to 50%, while a 5-year survival rate is about 16-17%, and fortunately, things are improving with each year.
  • In stage 2, a 2-year survival rate is close to 40%, and a 5-year survival rate close to 10%. In stage 3, 2-year survival rate is about 30%, and a 5-year survival rate is between 5-8%.
  • In stage 4 mesothelioma, a 2-year survival rate is about 17%, and a 5-year survival rate is less than 1%.

Finally, there is also the need to understand that some of the patients may indeed survive for long periods despite the poor prognosis. Thus there are hundreds of people living with mesothelioma who were first diagnosed 10 or even more than 20 years back.

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