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Mesothelioma (cont.)

Mesothelioma Treatment

Like most cancers, mesothelioma is best treated when it is diagnosed early. Treatment depends on the location of the tumor, how far it has spread, and your age and general health. Stages 1, 2, and some stage-3 mesothelioma may be amenable to potentially curative surgery. Whatever the stage of mesothelioma, there are several types of treatments that can be used.

Traditional treatments for mesothelioma include the following:

  • Surgery (removal of the tumor)
  • Chemotherapy (using medications to kill cancer cells)
  • Radiation therapy (using high-dose X-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells)

Currently guidelines such as those provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) can guide treatment once the disease is diagnosed with certainty. Treatment is best done at centers with experience with this uncommon disease. Often the traditional treatments are used in combination. Aggressive surgery may carry significant risk of complications and is again best performed by experienced surgeons. A multidisciplinary team is usually convened prior to treatment to plan and coordinate the care of a patient with mesothelioma.

Because mesothelioma is difficult to treat, several new therapies are being evaluated currently. They include the following:

  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Gene therapy
  • Clinical Trials of new medications are ongoing
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/9/2014
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Mesothelioma »

Malignancies involving mesothelial cells that normally line the body cavities, including the pleura, peritoneum, pericardium, and testis, are known as malignant mesothelioma, which may be localized or diffuse.

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