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Pleural Mesothelioma Chemotherapy | Mesothelioma Treatments


In regards to the treatment of pleural mesothelioma, chemotherapy can be strong medicine and the strain it places on the body can demand that a patient have a strong stomach, heart, liver, and kidneys. All are essential to help the patient absorb, circulate and then eliminate these chemicals from the body and still recover from the damaging side effects of the treatment. For many patients, reduced white cell counts, red blood cell counts and reduced platelets can all be evidence of systemic damage caused by chemotherapy.

Continued Care: Going Beyond Mesothelioma Treatments

A misconception among cancer patients is that they only need to see their medical oncologist or surgeon. When receiving chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma and other forms of cancer, patients will still require an internist to maintain their regularly scheduled yearly interventions. Flu and pneumonia vaccines continue to be recommended on the suggested schedule. Contiguous cancers have been reported which make screening crucial for second malignancy in those commonly reported cancers breast, colon, prostate and lung i.e., physical exam, colonoscopy, mammography and fecal occult stool testing. Patients are surviving longer with mesothelioma so keeping up with your general health is equally important.

Managing the Side Effects of Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

There are new drugs in development and approved frequently to help in the management of chemotherapy related side effects. Chemotherapy attacks the fastest growing cells in the body so normal cells can also be affected. Frequent monitoring of the blood counts is performed and in some cases growth factors are initiated to stimulate the production of red blood cells and white blood cells. These can diminish the fatigue associated with anemia and lower the risk for infection while on systemic treatment. Targeted therapies can be associated with skin rashes, elevated blood pressure and fatigue. Medications will be prescribed to control for these systemic symptoms.

Maintaining awareness of the possible side-effects can help you or your loved one prepare for chemotherapy and other mesothelioma treatments. Contact the Mesothelioma Foundation for more information, news and support.