Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take many years after initial exposure for symptoms to appear, and once diagnosed, mesothelioma patients often have a short life expectancy. Starting treatment as early as possible is key to survival for mesothelioma patients.
There are a number of treatment options available to mesothelioma patients; choosing the right treatment or combination of treatments will depend on how far the disease has progressed. Early-stage patients are often eligible for surgery to remove tumors, which gives patients the best chance of survival if tumors can be removed in their entirety. Resectable tumors, meaning those that can be removed by surgery, have the best probability for surgical success if they are easily visible and have not spread into other tissues.
Chemotherapy is a common treatment for mesothelioma, particularly for patients whose tumors are not resectable, and can help to significantly extend life expectancy. Patients who are not eligible for surgery may also undergo radiation, which can help prevent the recurrence of the disease and manage painful symptoms. Most patients have a multimodal approach that incorporates more than one of these treatments; for example, after tumor removal surgery, patients will often undergo either chemotherapy or radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Late-stage mesothelioma that has spread throughout the chest cavity and to other parts of the body is much more difficult to treat. Advanced mesothelioma patients may be eligible for more novel treatments, including immunotherapy. Immunotherapy drugs help boost the immune system by priming immune cells to go after cancer cells. Targeted therapy drugs, which target specific proteins in cancer cells, are not commonly used for mesothelioma but may be a viable option for some patients, depending on the DNA of cancer cells.
Patients whose cancer has not responded to other therapies may be eligible for a clinical trial to explore a new treatment method. There are several drugs currently in development for mesothelioma treatment that need to go through clinical trials in order to be made widely available to patients. Researchers need mesothelioma patients to participate in these trials so that they can develop effective treatments for the disease, but trials carry risks for patients. New therapies still in the trial phase cannot provide patients with any certainty as to their results, and in order to accurately measure the treatment’s effectiveness, some patients have to receive a placebo.
Mesothelioma patients also have options for palliative care to help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life as they live with the disease. Pain management can be important for mesothelioma patients, whose symptoms can include chest pain or tightness and muscle fatigue. There are also palliative procedures to remove fluid buildup around the lungs and surrounding tissue to help alleviate symptoms. Patients may also take supplemental oxygen or medications to ease their breathing.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Victims of Asbestos Exposure
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. Our legal team has the knowledge and experience to fight to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. We will advocate tirelessly for your rights so that you can focus on your treatment and recovery. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we help mesothelioma patients and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 877-743-4652 or contact us online for an initial consultation.