There are no treatments for mesothelioma that have repeatedly provided a complete response. Any discussion of treating mesothelioma, therefore, must include a wide variety of approaches, all of which continue to be considered primarily palliative. This section also offers mesothelioma information in regards to possible post-treatment issues, recovery concerns, and coping with after-effects.
Types of Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Primary mesothelioma treatment options include some form of surgery. However, it should be noted that surgery by itself is not considered an optimal treatment process. Today mesothelioma treatments will often include surgery in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is found in the abdomen (on the surface of the omentum and visceral organs). Because of the complexities of this space, treatment is difficult and depending on the exact nature of the disease, treatment options are limited. Currently several treatment centers now offer peritoneal mesothelioma treatments that involve several courses of surgery over a specific interval, with chemotherapy, radiation or other treatments taking place either during or after the surgeries.
Forming in the pleura, the protective lining surrounding the lungs, pleura mesothelioma is often not diagnosed until it has progressed. Because the pleura is protected by the rib cage, reaching it through surgery is difficult without cutting through bone. Due to the invasiveness of these surgical procedures, treatments often include surgery in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation.
Because mesothelioma treatment is now largely multimodality, meaning it involves more than one type of treatment, recovery is often staggered over several cycles. Even diagnosis procedures, such as invasive procedures like thoracoscopy or laparoscopy, may require an extended period of recovery. When used as part of the treatment of mesothelioma, chemotherapy can also be debilitating and may include a number of serious side-effects that could require the patient to rest and recover before further treatments are resumed.
Do you have specific questions or concerns about available mesothelioma treatment options, including details on different options, side effects and risks? The Mesothelioma Foundation is here to offer support, guidance, and help. Talk to a mesothelioma expert for the latest in treatments and clinical trials.