treatments vary depending on the location of the cancer, the
stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health.
Standard mesothelioma treatment options include surgery, radiation
therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.
Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma. The doctor may remove
part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around
it. For cancer of the pleura (pleural mesothelioma), a lung may be removed
in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm,
the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed.
Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy
rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy affects
the cancer cells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from
a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce
radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells
are found (internal radiation therapy).
Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout
the body. During mesothelioma chemotherapy most drugs for mesothelioma
treatments are given by injection into a vein (intravenous, or IV). Doctors
are also studying the effectiveness of putting mesothelioma chemotherapy
directly into the chest or abdomen (intracavitary chemotherapy).
Treatments for Symptom and Pain Relief
To relieve symptoms and control pain, the doctor may use a needle or
a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the chest or abdomen.
The procedure for removing fluid from the chest is called thoracentesis.
Removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis. Drugs may be
given through a tube in the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating.
Radiation therapy and surgery may also be helpful in relieving symptoms.
to Mesothelioma Reference Section
to Health Main Reference Category