Treating Mesothelioma: A Comprehensive Guide :

Welcome to our journal article on treating mesothelioma. If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with this rare and aggressive form of cancer, we understand that this is a challenging time. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to proceed. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the complex world of mesothelioma treatment.

Section One: Understanding Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was commonly used in construction and other industries until the 1970s. Mesothelioma can take many years to develop after exposure to asbestos, and symptoms may not appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.

While there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, there are many treatment options available that can help manage symptoms, prolong life expectancy, and improve quality of life. In this guide, we will explore these options in detail.

Section Two: Treatment Options


Surgery is often the first line of treatment for mesothelioma. The goal of surgery is to remove as much of the cancer as possible to slow down its growth and reduce symptoms. There are several different types of surgery that may be used to treat mesothelioma:

Type of Surgery Description
Extrapleural pneumonectomy The entire affected lung, the lining of the chest wall, the diaphragm, and the sac around the heart are removed.
Pleurectomy/decortication The lining of the lung and chest wall are removed, but the lung itself is not removed.
Cytoreductive surgery The surgeon removes as much of the visible cancer as possible, followed by a heated chemotherapy solution to kill any remaining cancer cells.

While surgery can be an effective treatment for mesothelioma, it is not always an option for every patient. The decision to undergo surgery will depend on the individual’s overall health, the stage and location of the cancer, and other factors.


Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. It is often used in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy may be administered orally, through injections, or through an IV. There are several different chemotherapy drugs that may be used to treat mesothelioma, including:

Chemotherapy Drug Description
Cisplatin A platinum-based drug that is often used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs.
Alimta A drug that specifically targets cancer cells and is often used in combination with cisplatin.
Gemcitabine A drug that may be used alone or in combination with other drugs, such as cisplatin.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It may be administered externally, through a machine that directs radiation beams at the cancer, or internally, through implants that release radiation directly into the cancer. Radiation therapy may be used in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.

Section Three: Managing Symptoms

In addition to treating the cancer itself, there are many strategies for managing the symptoms of mesothelioma. These may include:

Pain Management

Pain is a common symptom of mesothelioma, and it can be managed through a variety of methods, including pain medications, nerve blocks, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is another common symptom of mesothelioma, especially in cases where the cancer has affected the lungs. Oxygen therapy, medications, and breathing exercises can all be effective ways to manage this symptom.


Fatigue is a common side effect of cancer treatment, and it can be managed through lifestyle changes such as exercise and healthy eating, as well as medications and alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage.

Section Four: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?

The prognosis for mesothelioma depends on many factors, including the stage and location of the cancer, the individual’s overall health, and how well they respond to treatment. While there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, many people are able to manage the disease and live for several years after diagnosis.

Can mesothelioma be prevented?

The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If you work in an industry where you may be exposed to asbestos, be sure to follow all safety precautions and wear protective gear as needed.

What are the early symptoms of mesothelioma?

The early symptoms of mesothelioma can be vague and may not appear until many years after exposure to asbestos. These may include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and coughing.

What should I do if I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to work closely with your healthcare team to determine the best course of treatment. You may also want to seek out support from others who have been through a similar experience, such as support groups or online forums.

Are there any experimental treatments for mesothelioma?

Yes, there are several experimental treatments currently being studied for mesothelioma, including immunotherapy and targeted therapies. These treatments may be available through clinical trials, which are research studies that test new treatments to see if they are safe and effective.


We hope that this guide has been helpful in providing you with a comprehensive understanding of mesothelioma and the various treatment options available. Remember, mesothelioma is a complex disease, but with the right treatment and support, many people are able to manage the disease and live fulfilling lives. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider.

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