Is There a Cure For Pleural Mesothelioma?
Pleural mesothelioma is a rather rare form of cancer that is the result of extensive asbestos exposure. The pleura, the lubricating cells of the chest and lung walls, are affected. The onset of symptoms is gradual and may take up to ten years before changes indicating this cancer develop.
While pleural disease by itself is not fatal, the complications arising from it may be fatal. For example, pleural plaque formation may cause diminished lung function, resulting in death. Oftentimes, the only symptoms are thickening of the pleural lining and formation of plaques that lead physicians to investigate further and make a diagnosis.
If you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the first thing that probably runs through your mind is, "Is there is a cure?" There is a cure - as long as the disease is caught in the earlier stages of development. Pleural mesothelioma spreads quickly and can even affect your heart, despite starting off in the pleura. It is said to be fatal within a year from when the condition is diagnosed. However, early detection is the key to recovery.
Can Mesothelioma Be Treated?
Depending on how early pleural mesothelioma is detected, life-sustaining treatments may serve to extend your life. While there is no indefinite cure, the disease can certainly be controlled through treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Surgical resection may be possible in earlier stages of the disease before the tumor spreads to other body parts and can considerably slow down the advance of the disease. Surgeries such as pneumonectomy and extrapleural pneumonectomy that are often used in treating lung cancers and lung conditions also aid in slowing down mesothelioma.
Most physicians suggest the use of chemotherapy drugs to manage malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, the Food and Drug Administration has approved only one - a combination of Cisplatin and Alimta (Pemetrexed). All other combinations are currently in clinical trials, and have no solid basis for pleural mesothelioma treatment. Chemotherapy and surgery may often be combined with radiation therapy to slow the growth of the tumor cells and prolong life.
In recent times, alternative and complementary therapies have made their way into cancer treatment approaches. While these may not be standalone treatments, therapies such as reflexology, massage and acupuncture help in increasing the effectiveness of the overall treatment program and aid in pain and anxiety management.
What To Do If You Are Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
If you've been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, discuss your treatment options with your doctor. While there is no proven cure for this disease, there are certainly steps you can take to slow it down, depending on how early it is detected.
Since mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit if your exposure occurred in the course of your job or as a result of sub-standard housing. There are several mesothelioma lawyers who will be happy to help you draw up your case and get compensation that can provide for your treatment and for your loved ones, should the treatment not go as planned. Finally, make sure you have a good support group of family or friends who can be with you through the entire course of treatment and your lawsuit. Both are stressful, and you need all the support possible as you battle it out.
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