Patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, often suffer from painful symptoms, which can include persistent cough, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. As the disease progresses, symptoms can change and get worse, seriously impacting one’s quality of life. A British doctor has identified a simple solution to help patients manage some of these symptoms, which could help alleviate suffering for those with advanced mesothelioma.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma infects the lining of the lungs and chest cavity but can spread to other areas of the body in later stages of the disease. When the cancer reaches the thyroid, patients may experience sialorrhea, a condition that causes uncontrollable drooling and difficulty swallowing. Not only can this be extremely uncomfortable, but also it can affect a patient’s ability to eat, as well as contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
Glycopyrronium is a drug used to treat symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which can include excessive sweating, coughing, difficulty breathing, and peptic ulcers. It can be administered in multiple forms, with the injection form currently being used to treat drooling in mesothelioma patients. Recently, a doctor in Chelmsford, UK, discovered that the inhaled form of the drug also provides substantial relief of sialorrhea. The inhaler is significantly more convenient for patients, and a smaller dose of the drug can deliver complete relief within a matter of days.
Treatment Side Effects May Require Additional Treatment
Between the disease itself and its treatments, mesothelioma patients can suffer from a host of debilitating symptoms. Chemotherapy is the most common first-line treatment for mesothelioma. Although chemotherapy can be effective in curbing the spread of the disease, it can damage healthy cells as well as cancer cells, resulting in side effects such as pain, fatigue, nausea, hair loss, bleeding, and vulnerability to infections. Immunotherapy drugs have shown success in targeting cancer cells but can lead to long-term complications such as inflammation, hypothyroidism, pain, colitis, kidney damage, or even neurological issues.
Seeking treatment from a mesothelioma specialist can give individuals the best chance for success. Oncologists who specialize in this rare and deadly cancer have access to cutting-edge treatments and can provide a more customized treatment plan based on a patient’s individual diagnosis, their overall health, and the progression of the disease. Working with a specialist, one can decide how aggressively they want to pursue treatment, weighing the benefits against the potential side effects, and develop a comprehensive plan to manage both.
There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, and once diagnosed, most people are left with a short life expectancy. Palliative care to manage symptoms is critical to help maintain one’s quality of life as they undergo treatment. More research is needed to develop therapies that will effectively treat the disease without side effects that add to patients’ suffering. In the meantime, making the treatment of sialorrhea more convenient for patients can help to simplify their treatment regimen while addressing a painful symptom.
Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Shein Law Obtain Justice for Mesothelioma Patients
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Shein Law are here to help. Our knowledgeable, experienced legal team will work tirelessly to get you the compensation to which you are entitled so that you can focus on your treatment and recovery. Call us at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.