What is Mesothelioma? Complete Guide for Beginners

Mesothelioma is an aggressive lung cancer which causes deadly tumors to form in the lung or chest cavities. This desease is mainly caused due to exposure to asbestos and seriously affects the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.In the asbestos-related diseases, Malignant Mesothelioma is the most serious one. As Mesothelioma is a type of cancer, first of all we should know about and its symptoms and how it affects the human body. Effective treatments like Chemotherapy,surgery and radiation can be done to ease symptoms and improve prognosis.

Cancer

Cancer is a class of disease characterized by uncontrollable growth of cells. There are different types of cancer, and each type is classified into subtypes based on its parental cell which has been already affected. Cancer is caused ultimately as a result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Non cancer cells in our body have orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process of apoptosis breaks down,cancer begins to form. But,cancer cells do not have the path of death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to uncontrollable growth of mass of abnormal cells(tumour).

Cancer harms the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Cancer tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones which affects normal body function. Some of the tumors that stay in one spot and controls growth to a limit are known as benign. More dangerous (malignant) tumors are aggressive when a cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body using the blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissues. The process is said to be invasion and the cells manage to divide and grow, form new blood vessels to feed itself and is called angiogenesis.When the tissues get metastasized (Invading and Destroying other healthy tissues) they cannot be treated and when the cancerous tumor spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invasion and angiogenesis takes place. and this process is called metastasis. The development of secondary malignant growth from the primary site is called metastatic growth.This is a dangerous condition and is generally difficult to treat.

Causes of Cancer: The known causes of cancer are genetic factors,lifestyle factors like tobacco, alcohol,food habit and physical activities, sun and UV exposure, radiation, chemical exposure,damage caused by infections,health of the immune system,asbestos,pollution at work and environmental causes. Alcohol is the main risk factor for cancer which affects liver, lungs, mouth, esophagus, pharynx, breast, larynx, rectum, and pancreas. Individuals can reduce the risk when causes of cancer is known, prevention is better than cure.

More details 

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer,the only known cause is  asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a disease of the smooth lining of the chest, lungs, (pleura), heart (pericardium), or abdomen (peritoneum). Mesothelioma(malignant) cancer most commonly develops in the lungs of people exposed to asbestos. The cancer usually affects the thin, protective membrane surrounding the lungs, heart or abdominal cavity and most patients are diagnosed to job-related asbestos exposure. Although asbestos use declined dramatically in recent decades, the incidence of mesothelioma remains steady. This disease usually develops after many years of exposure to asbestos. It could be developing from childhood days but it is not known or have no symptoms for years. It can occur in its full form anywhere from twenty to fifty years of asbestos exposure. It shows obvious symptoms and an oncologist can make a definitive diagnosis. While there is no cure for the disease which exists and the prognosis being  poor, nowadays researchers have shown significant progress in understanding the cancer and improving new treatment options and new methods of therapies. Before the dangers of asbestos were known, for decades it was used in the construction of all kinds of buildings and in the manufacturing of many consumer products. Today, people who are exposed to asbestos — especially in the workplace — are still at risk of developing health related problems like mesothelioma and other lung infections, and employers and manufacturers must be liable for the same. Malignant Mesothelioma is an asbestos induced cancer that is difficult to diagnose. The tumour is often resistant to treatment and most patients will survive less than a year. An indicator of patient survival is the  growth pattern of tumours, which in turn is influenced by expressed proteoglycans.In very rare cases, mesothelioma develops from benign, non-malignant cells. This is also called benign mesothelioma which can be cured surgically.

SEE ALSO :-

Types of Mesothelioma Cancer – Complete Guide for Begginers

There are four types of malignant Mesothelioma, they are named according to the area of the body which is affected by the cancer.

  1. Pleural (lungs)
  2. Peritoneal (abdomen)
  3. Pericardial (heart)
  4. Testicular.

PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA

The most common types are Pleural and Peritoneal. 90% of diagnoses are lung affected mesothelioma. The most common type is the  pleural mesothelioma which develops in the lining of the lungs or cavities. Though this is a deadly disease, the prognosis is very poor. The main cause is exposure to asbestos when the particles make way to lungs and attack. The symptoms may not be seen in some cases. Pleural mesothelioma can be diagnosed by a Biopsy and by imaging scans.

PERITONEAL MESOTHELIOMA

Peritoneal mesothelioma forms in the peritoneum(abdomen), the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. This is the second-most prevalent type of asbestos induced cancer.The microscopic particles of asbestos inhaled leads to cancerous tumours in the abdomen.This tumour in the fourth stage is too vast and a surgery is needed to remove the cancer however it is not recommended in this stage. Majority of tumours removed can subside severe pain and improve breathing. Statistical report says that peritoneal patients have a better chance at long-term survival than any other type of mesothelioma.

PERICARDIAL MESOTHELIOMA

Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare type of disease. Pericardial mesothelioma forms in the lining of the heart. It is said to be of a rare type because of its limited treatment options. It involves removal of tumours near the heart which is the delicate organ and hence said to be dangerous. Doctors remove the small tumours by surgery. There are two layers surrounding the membrane outside the heart. The outer layer is called the parietal layer (heart sac), and  an inner layer is  known as epicardium or the visceral layer. Pericardial mesothelioma is found mostly in men than women, and it is diagnosed between the age of fifty and seventy. Chest pain, fatigue , shortness of breath are the main symptoms for this kind of Mesothelioma. Buildup of fluid and thickening of layers are also prominent symptoms.

TESTICULAR MESOTHELIOMA

Testicular mesothelioma is a cancer formed in the membrane lining that covers the testicles. This is called mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis which is found to be less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases. Research says that most cases have no history of asbestos exposure as there are currently no theories to explain how asbestos exposure might cause a primary tumor to grow in the testicles. Perhaps it is understood that once asbestos fibers inhaled are present  in the body, they could lodge in organs and cause inflammation or infection that develops mesothelioma. The fibers cause cancerous cells to divide abnormally, causing buildup of fluid in between the layers and facilitate development of tumors. Very less research is available on testicular type because of its rarity. Despite this, men with this type of cancer enjoy a significantly better prognosis than most people with other forms of Mesothelioma. Most studies says that the survival period is less than 25 months, and one patient lived about 15 years after diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Facts & Asbestos-related disorders facts

  • Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer which arises from growth of cancerous cells lining the chest or abdominal cavities.
  • Mesothelioma is an asbestos induced lung cancer.
  • Doctors use a special instrument called thoracoscope to diagnose mesothelioma affected chest.
  • Peritoneoscope is used to diagnose the abdomen for mesothelioma.
  • A biopsy can help diagnose mesothelioma.

Asbestos-related disorders facts

Though mesothelioma is the asbestos induced disease,cancer the known cause is only asbestos exposure.But some disorder facts are there about asbestos.

    1. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and it is one of the most commonly used material everywhere in the construction, industries,shipbuilding etc. that has been linked to human lung disease.
    2. All forms of asbestos increase the risk of development of serious respiratory infections and  lung disease

Symptoms of Mesothelioma – Complete Guide for Beginners

Diagnosis of mesothelioma is very difficult because the symptoms or signs of this disease are hard to notice easily. The common signs of this cancer may be fatigue,anemia,shortness of breath, chest pain, weight loss,difficulty in swallowing(dysphagia),coughing up blood,fluid build up, muscle pain and bowel obstruction. In the early stage extreme tiredness and pain surrounding the tumour can be a common symptom for malignant mesothelioma. In the later stage the pain will be more prominent and it requires the patient to consult the doctor.In the early stage of this disease the symptoms are most common ones and the doctors can be subtled to any other illness. The symptoms are little different for the types of mesothelioma. By the time one identifies warning signs, the cancer often has spread, making it difficult for doctors to treat. Early recognition of symptoms of the type makes it easier for treatment. If the patient has been exposed to asbestos , finding symptoms are easier and they could be confirmed by particular tests pertaining to mesothelioma, afterwhich curative therapies are performed on the patient. This can help the patient to survive more years.The signs and symptoms like weight loss, bowel obstruction and loss of appetite are match for all cancers. However, the various types and subtypes of asbestos related cancer is different.

SYMPTOMS OF MESOTHELIOMA BY TYPE

Symptoms of Pleural mesothelioma cancer

Chest Pain, lower back pain, fever , shortness of breath, reduced chest expansion, faint or harsh breathing sound, dry cough or wheezing, build-up of fluid between the layers of pleura are the common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. At the time of diagnosis the exact stage of the cancer is determined carefully to study how far the illness has progressed. The impact of the cancer progressed is directly proportional to the life expectancy of the patient. When symptoms are unknown or hidden the patients are at the risk of 3rd or 4th stage where the growth of cancer will be more making it very difficult to cure. Earlier the diagnosis, better the prognosis. A study of 2011 shows 221 patients with pleural mesothelioma and having the following symptoms:

Chronic cough           –  36%

Chest pain                 –  64%

Pleural effusions        –  90%

Weight loss                –  30%

Shortness of breath   –  79%

The signals generally appear after 20 to 30 years after asbestos exposure . For example if a person with mesothelioma has been inhaling asbestos material at work area for 20 years, the symptoms emerges in small at around 45 to 50 years of age. Few people are diagnosed with disorder because it emerges in a very peculiar and subtle way. Studies show that decades-long latency period is unique from other mesothelioma types. It is shorter in peritoneal mesothelioma when compare to pleural. The small signals are unnoticeable until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. All of these types develop after decades of asbestos exposure. Most of the patients are diagnosed when a tumor appears in the tissue membrane. Sadly, this stage is found be III or IV and are critical to treat. Some of the studies say that  women have long latency period than men. The early symptoms are not an easy thing to detect.

(Many patients don’t experience the early symptoms. They only seek medical suggestion when symptoms aggravate. Nowadays most of the mesothelioma research involves finding better ways to secure an earlier diagnosis, and effective treatment. There is considerable support for early screening for those with prolonged, occupational exposure to asbestos). People with mesothelioma have been misdiagnosed initially with  pneumonia, bronchial infection and COPD.

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Weight loss, abdominal distention, hernias, loss of appetite, feeling of fullness, abdominal swelling / tenderness, fatigue, abdominal fluid buildup, bowel obstruction are the common symptoms of Peritoneal mesothelioma. This develops in the internal part of the abdomen, that is,  the thick lining surrounding the cavity of the abdomen. In 20 percent of cases the symptoms arises with a loss of appetite and it results in weight loss, or fluid build up  and abdominal hernias. In some cases the signs of stomach pains, abdominal swelling, a feeling of fullness and tiredness and bowel obstruction. All these symptoms signal the progression of any mass tissue or formation of tumors beyond the original location.

In a 2009 study reported with the following symptoms:

Patients experienced mild seizures   – 10%

Patients experienced weight loss / decreased appetite – 69%

Patients developed ascites – 77%

Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma

This type of Mesothelioma is one of the rarest form of asbestos related cancer, which develops in the lining all over the heart. Symptoms are  shortness of breath and chest pains. They originate from thickening of the pericardium, the lining all over the heart.

Symptoms of Testicular Mesothelioma

A lump or bulge can be seen in the testes is the only  sign of this type. This is the rarest of all types, associated with pain and discomfort.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis – Complete Guide for Begginers

The Oncologists utilize a number of diagnostic tests to  confirm mesothelioma. Blood tests such as MESOMARK and SOMAmer panel, imaging and screening tests like

MRI, CT scan, PET scan, X-rays and biopsies to investigate how deeply it is progressed. The diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer is done by a biopsy review of tissue taken from the tumor. Pathologists use a number of immunohistochemical stains to distinguish between mesothelioma and other types of cancer.

Imaging Scans 

Diagnostic screening tests like x-rays, CT scans and MRI’s can be done to obtain  more information about the mesothelioma including how far it is progressed. Each techniques gives another part of information for the doctor to make an perfect diagnosis. Chest x-rays is a way to identify abnormalities in the lungs including abnormal thickening, mineral deposits and liquid in the chest area. CT scans are used to get more images of the same location from many different views. MRI technology which uses magnetic fields rather than x-ray to provide additional views. Combination of PET and CT scan leads to better treatment in peritoneal mesothelioma.

  • X Ray – An x-ray is a common initial investigation for the lung diseases not only for cancer diagnosis. The X-Ray is utilized for many different respiratory abnormalities, including bronchitis and pneumonia. A chest X-Ray can show up fluid in the abdomen or in the cavities.The symptom of mesothelioma has respiratory disorders, so often chest X-ray is the initial investigation and imaging technique used in mesothelioma diagnosis.If the doctors find the fluid or pleural effusion in the pleural cavity then they go for the another test of Biopsy. The  surgical Biopsy is a procedure for all type of cancers, a small part of the tumorous tissue is taken or fluid is taken from the area to find the presence of mesothelioma cancer cells.
  • PET Scan – Positron Emission Tomography is a nuclear medicine imaging, to produce three dimensional color image of the functional process of the human body. It is otherwise called as a PET scan.  Nuclear medicine involves introducing a small amount of radioactive material into the body to asist doctors determine if the body is functioning properly. PET scans in mesothelioma sick person are many times used in conjunction with CT scans. PET scans are used to make more data about the health condition and how effective current treatment is. Medical researchers prefer to find the aspect of PET scans very much useful other than MRIs and X-ray because it can reveal how the patient’s body is functioning than how it looks.
  • CT Scan – A computer  tomography (CT) scan is usually carried out after a chest X-ray. A CT scan uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the internal body.  CT scan is referred to, is a commonly used method to find the location of the tumor and how far it is extended. The scan is painless and can take 30 minutes to complete.This type of imaging gives the full details than a chest X-Ray. And also the CT scan provides the cross sectional views of the internal body structure and it can be reconstructed in the computer. A CT scan can show abnormal swellings in body organs or lymph nodes. Before the CT scan a dye called ‘contrast’ is injected, this helps to make the scan clearer. The CT scan shows an abnormal area in the lung and the doctor may suggest  to  have a sample of tissue taken (a biopsy).  They may do this using another CT scan. The anesthetist give local anesthesia to numb the area where they are going to put the biopsy needle. This is called a CT guided biopsy.
  • MRI A magnetic resonance image, more commonly referred to as an MRI, is a noninvasive method used for diagnosing mesothelioma within the body. The MRI uses a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses, transmitting them to a computer.

Biopsies

A biopsy is a crucial and an important diagnostic procedure recommended by doctors to detect mesothelioma. When patients having signs and symptoms of mesothelioma with a history of asbestos exposure.The biopsy is performed to determine whether a suspicious lesion is cancerous or to distinguish a specific type of cancer.FNA- Fine Needle Aspiration is the less invasive type of biopsy. Usually FNA can be performed on a solid lesion, or fluid from that part may be extracted by it and then it is sent to pathology test for presence of malignant cancerous cells. If malignant cells are present the cancer specialists will determine the cellular classification of cancer. There are some other type of biopsies like Needle biopsy, surgical biopsy, Bronchoscopy are included. The type and location of the patient’s tumor dictates to choose the type of biopsy to be performed.  Peritoneal mesothelioma patients mostly undergo the needle biopsy.

  • Needle Biopsy– The needle biopsy is considered the less invasive biopsy procedure. Mostly, a more substantial biopsy of cancer tissue is generally recommended for patients only when mesothelioma is suspected, such as a core biopsy or a surgical biopsy. This can be done as a CT-guided biopsy from outside of the chest, or attimes a small lung surgery like a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), in which a surgeon uses small surgical tools with cameras and biopsy equipment to look inside the chest along the pleural surface (pleuroscopy) with a minimally invasive approach. It is often helpful and sometimes necessary for a surgeon to do a VATS and directly biopsy suspicious nodules in order to establish the diagnosis
  • Excisional Biopsy – The whole tumor is removed from the body and the samples are taken from the mass for the laboratory tests.
  • Percutaneous needle biopsy – A percutaneous needle biopsy is a procedure  of removing a sample from a suspected tumour to test it at a laboratory for cancerous cells. For this biopsy the doctor  will use a CT scanner to guide a needle to the site of a suspected tumour from one side to the other of the skin. Local anaesthetic is used to without sensation the surrounding skin, and the needle is passed through the skin and into the lungs. The needle will then be used to remove a sample of tissue for testing.
  • Thoracoscopy

The most accurate diagnostic biopsies for mesothelioma is Thoracoscopy. By this method the doctors look into the pleural cavity and retrieve high-quality biopsy samples; it can give the accurate diagnosis for up to 98 percent of mesothelioma patients.

  • Mediastinoscopy

A mediastinoscopy is a procedure allows the doctor to examine the organs in the mediastinum, that is the area between lungs and chest. (mediastinum). This procedure is recommended only when the doctor suspects the patient may have mesothelioma.For this test, the doctor will make a small cut at the bottom of the neck so that they can pass a thin tube into the patient’s chest. The tube has a camera at the end. By the use of camera the doctor can see inside the chest and also they can able to take the sample cells and lymph nodes from the part.The lymph nodes are tested and it helps to determine the doctors whether  or not the cancer has spread in the lymph nodes and can indicate the stage  of the cancer has progressed to. So doctors can start the mesothelioma treatment.

 

Blood Test

The recent scientific research has developed  blood tests for diagnosis of mesothelioma. The  Blood levels of 2 substances, osteopontin & Soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs), are raised into high levels in people with mesothelioma. MESOMARK examination which analyze SMPRs,  protein and mesothelioma biomarker.These tests are approved by FDA. Although these blood tests cannot confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Other tests screen for biomarkers like osteopontin or human megakaryocyte potentiation factor.

Stages of Mesothelioma – Complete Guide for Beginners

The tests and the images of the scans or X rays  shows how far the disease  has spread. For all type of cancer there are four stages, stage I (Initial stage), Stage II,Stage III and Stage IV are advanced  stages. By knowing the stage the doctor can decide the treatment to proceed. Most of the mesothelioma patients are in advanced stages.The staging of mesothelioma in chest (that is Pleural Mesothelioma) is different from staging of mesothelioma in abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).

Pleural mesothelioma stages

The staging system most commonly used in the UK for pleural mesothelioma is called the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) system.The IMIG and AJCC(The American Committee on Cancer) follow the TNM staging system.

TNM staging system (Used in AJCC)

The TNM system is the staging system most commonly used in cancer staging generally. This system has three main key pieces of information. The TNM system describes

T – The size and position of the mesothelioma primary tumour

N – Whether the mesothelioma cells have spread to nearby lymph nodes

M – Whether the mesothelioma cells have spread to other parts of the body –                                             metastases

T,N and M categories are divided into groups of their staging.The groups are named as T group, N group and M groupand each group is divided into as many subgroups.Numbers or letters given after T, N, and M like T1, T2,Tx etc.to provide more details about each of these factors.If the cancer is in advanced the numbers will be higher.

T GROUPS

TX: In this stage the tumour can’t be assessed for some reason.

T0: There would not be any evidence of a main tumour.

T1: Mesothelioma affects the pleura lining the chest wall on one side of the chest. It may or may not also affect the pleural tissue covering  the diaphragm (the breathing muscle) or the mediastinum (the space between the lungs).

T2: Mesothelioma affects the pleura lining the chest wall on one side of the chest. It also affects  the pleura coating the diaphragm. It also has grown into at least one of the following:

  • The diaphragm
  • The lung itself

T3: The mesothelioma has grown further but may still potentially be removed with surgery.  It also has grown into at least one of the following:

  • The first layer of the chest wall (called the endothoracic fascia)
  • The fatty tissue in the mediastinum
  • Single place in the deeper layers of the chest wall
  • The surface of the pericardium (outer covering layer of the heart)

T4: The mesothelioma has grown too far to be removed completely with surgery.  It also has grown into at least one of the following:

  • More than 1 place in the deeper layers of the chest wall, additionally the muscle or ribs
  • Any organ in the mediastinum (esophagus, trachea, thymus, blood vessels)
  • The spine
  • Across to the pleura on the other side of the chest
  • Through the heart lining (pericardium) or into the heart itself.

Mesothelioma Treatment – Complete Guide for Beginners

Advances in the treatment of mesothelioma, mesothelioma patients living longer than before. With the help of accurate diagnosis and multi speciality care allows the patients to improve their recovery and not to spread the disease.Mesothelioma survivor’s life expectancy is now two, three and more than four years and increase the beyond limit.There are survivors living more than 5 to 10 years by the advance treatment with accurate diagnostic tools. It is very important to find a specialist who can determine the treatment option for the specified case. the top specialists work at recognised mesothelioma centers.

SEE ALSO  : Mesothelioma Surgery

The main treatment option will depend on the stage of the cancer, any other medical condition of the patient and their general fitness. People with early stage mesothelioma may have the surgery, chemotherapy and Radiation therapy. The doctor may suggest for the surgery to take away the tumor and reduce the symptoms. The chemotherapy also used to shrink the size of the tumor and reduce the symptoms. The radiation helps to shrink the tumor or destroy the cancer cells and reduce the symptoms. if the cancer has not developed  to metastasized then the combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation is followed and this is called multimodal approach.

Mesothelioma Surgery – Complete Guide for Beginners

If the cancerous tumor is present in the lining around the lungs or abdomen the doctor advises to go for aggressive surgery and is potentially curative. because the cancerous tumor is being removed. After the surgery the chemotherapy is given as the next option of the treatment to destroy the remaining cancer cells left in the area. Then radiation also followed after the surgery. By these treatments most of the cancer can be controlled and the symptoms may be reduced. the goal of the surgery is to relieve the symptoms and to feel better. There are traumatic and palliative surgeries for mesothelioma for those who are not enough healthy to withstand the strain.. Only the surgeries are progressive when patients have enough energy and  healthy to withstand the strain and stress of the aggressive surgery. There are three categories of surgery, they are potentially curative, palliative and diagnostic surgery. The life changeable and removing of tumors to reduce the symptoms is Potentially curative. The palliative surgery helps to restore the quality of life,  reducing the pain and alleviating the symptoms. The diagnostic surgery is the basic procedure to get the idea for the doctors.

Surgeries for Mesothelioma include

  • Thoracentesis
  • Paracentesis
  • Biopsy
  • Pleurodesis
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Thoracotomy
  • Wedge resection
  • Lobectomy
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP)
  • Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D)
  • Peritonectomy/cytoreductive

CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is used to treat all type of cancers.  The anti-cancer(Cytotoxic)drugs kills the cancer cells by disrupting the growth of the cancer cells. It slow the growth of the mesothelioma and controls the symptoms. Chemotherapy drugs, which are usually given by an IV(Intravenously)  into a vein in your arm, are designed to kill cancer cells.

Before go to the chemotherapy the doctor should see the fitness of the patient. because it has the side effects. This drug is induced once in a day or days and is followed a period of three weeks rest. This period is called  one cycle of treatment. The doctor decides how many cycles required according to the stage of the cancer and how is it responding to the treatment. Cisplatin and pemetrexed  are the drugs used for mesothelioma patients in chemotherapy treatment. A milder drug cocktail, Pemetrexed is combined with carboplatin is used with the same result but has fewer side effects.

For the peritoneal mesothelioma the heated chemotherapy is given during surgery.Because chemotherapy drugs affect the cancer cells and also the noncancer cells. so the patient feels worse than before chemotherapy.Feeling sick(nausea) and being sick (vomiting) is common soon after  the treatment is given. Anemia, Fatigue, Sore throat, Eye problems, hair loss,changes in hearing,numbness  or tingling in hand or feet are the side effects seen in patients. Some people have more side effects some do not have any side effect they feel as normal. All these side effects are temporary and will disappear once the treatment is over. Cisplatin, Carboplatin,Pemetrexed, Gemcitabine,Doxorubicin are the drugs commonly used for chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma.

RADIATION

Radiation therapy is one of the noninvasive and uses high-energy rays to target the cancer. This one of the main three types of treatment used to reduce pain and symptoms. It is typically combination with other treatment options helps  to kill the cancer cells and shrink the  tumors or manage tumor growth. It has less side effects that chemotherapy does.

Oncologists used radiation is the main treatment for mesothelioma for decades.

Radiation also can be used for various reasons in a palliative situation when surgery is no longer an option.Doctors can determine some cases are not eligible for surgery so they prefer to go for combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to relieve from pain and life expectancy. There are Two main types of radiation:

  1. External beam
  2. Intraoperative (done during surgery)

Radiation is given to the patient in an out-patient basis for five days in a week for several weeks, it is painless and effective.

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