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Mesothelioma: Treatments for Mesothelioma Cancer
By Hector Milla
Mesothelioma cancer is currently treated through three treatments, depending on the cancer location, the disease stage, and the patient's general health and age. These treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which sometimes are combined to fight the disease in so far as possible.
In a surgery, one of the most common treatments for mesothelioma, the doctor removes part of the lining of the abdomen or the chest and some tissue around it. In a pneumonectomy, the doctor may also remove one lung when the patient has pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the pleura. In other surgical procedure, the doctor may also remove part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing.
Through these procedures, the medical specialist shall try to excise tumourous tissue arising from this cancer disease. As these operations will reduce the patient's respiratory capacity, the surgeon will evaluate the patient's ability to function after a lung tissue removal, before performing a pneumonectomy.
Another method to fight Mesothelioma is chemotherapy or the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. These drugs are given to the patient by an intravenous procedure, an injection into a vein. Currently, experts are studying the effectiveness of intracavitary chemotherapy or the possibility of giving chemotherapy straight to the chest or abdomen.
Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays to destroy malignant cells and shrink tumors. It is important to know that this medical procedure attacks the cancer cells only in the treated area. There are two ways of giving this therapy. One, external radiation, in which the radiation comes from a machine, and other, internal radiation, where the cancer cells are found after putting materials that produce radiation into the affected area.
Doctor's way to relieve patient's pain is to use a needle or a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the abdominal or chest cavities through a procedure called thoracentesis, when it is from the chest, and paracentesis, when the removal is from the abdomen. The specialists may also give the drugs through a tube in the chest to prevent the accumulation of more liquid.