Mesothelioma: Treatment options continue to improve but prognosis remains difficult

565751_a_babys_coming.jpgOur mesothelioma injury attorneys continue our discussion of the basics of mesothelioma and asebestos exposure with a look at diagnosis and treatment options.

Recently we published a Mesothelioma and Asbestos Primer for Patients and a blog about diagnosis decades after exposure to asbestos.

While the prognosis for those diagnosed with mesothelioma remains poor, new treatments are being developed and those cancers caught in the earliest stages stand the best chance of being eradicated. Mesothelioma is classified in stages Ia-IV depending on severity.

Surgery: Treatment involving surgery is most often effective in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation. Most frequently, a pleurectomy/decortication is performed, which involves removing the lining of the chest. In other cases the lung lining or the lining surrounding other organs may be removed as well. One large study of surgery alone found survival rates of about one year.

Chemotherapy: In the treatment of mesothelioma, chemotherapy has shown the most individual promise. Several newer chemotherapy treatments have been shown to increase survival rates to more than 13 months. Questions remain when it come to the optimum chemotherapy treatment, including how many cycles a patient should receive.

Radiation: Those patients in whom the cancer remains localized, often receive radiation following surgery. Radiation is often given in conjunction with chemotherapy treatment. Studies have found some patients whose disease is eligible for the trio of treatments — radiation, surgery and chemotherapy — have increased survival to more than 5 years.

Immunotherapy: Has yielded varying results in clinical trials. Boosting the immune system has been shown to have no benefit, while attacking the cancer cells has been used with varying degrees of success. In some instances, serious side effects have been reported, in others, 1 in 5 patients reported a reduction of 50 percent in tumor size.

The Ferraro Law Firm represents victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Call (888) 554-2030 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.


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