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Mesothelioma Treatment

Though there is no mesothelioma cure, there are several different types of treatment for malignant mesothelioma. Of course, catching the cancer early in crucial in prolonging a patient’s life. But other factors also determine the best course of action:
The location of the cancer;
The stage or severity of the cancer; and
A patient’s personal preference.
In California, traditional mesothelioma treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, or a combination of the three. There are also more new advancements in treatment for mesothelioma that are still being researched. Those interested in trying experimental or radical treatments may want to get involved in a mesothelioma clinical trial.

Traditional Mesothelioma Treatments


Surgical treatment for mesothelioma is employed to either remove the cancer from the affected area of the body (i.e., the lung or abdominal cavity) or to alleviate pain. If the mesothelioma has spread, it may be impossible to remove all of the cancer with surgery; however surgical intervention may help lessen pain.

Types of Surgery:

Pneumonectomy refers to the surgical removal of a lung so as to permanently remove the mesothelioma lung cancer. There are two types. In traditional pneumonectomythe diseased lung is removed, while in extrapleural pneumonectomythe diseased lung, as well as part of the pericardium, diaphragm or parietal pleura on the same side of the chest, are removed.

Palliative Procedures do not cure mesothelioma, but are done to alleviate or control symptoms.

Thoracentisis involves a needle is inserted into the chest cavity, which then drains fluid for diagnosis, or to relieve pain.

Pleurectomy / Decortication surgery removes the pleura, which is the membrane infected in pleural mesothelioma. The procedure serves to alleviate pain or prevent the recurrence of painful ruptures in the pleura, which causes what are known as effusions.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and / or to keep cancer cells from multiplying. The mesotheliomadrugs are either administered intravenously or taken in pill form, and are often used in combination with surgery. Unfortunately, chemotherapy may also kill healthy cells, so side effects can be quite severe. People often experience nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hair loss, constipation, decreased appetite and mouth sores.

Radiation treatment uses high-level radiation to target and kill cancer cells in a localized area. The therapy is delivered in several courses, each one breaking down the cancer cells so they may be excreted by the body. Like chemotherapy, radiation may kill or injure healthy cells and thereby cause unpleasant side effects such as: fatigue, hair loss, skin irritation, nausea and difficulty breathing.

Mesothelioma: New Advancements in Experimental or Radical Mesothelioma Treatments

There are a few newer treatments that are currently being used for Mesothelioma. Sometimes these are used in combination with traditional treatments listed above, and sometimes they are used on their own. Because these treatments are relatively new, no one knows what their long-term effects could be.

Gene Therapy

In gene therapy, healthy genes are injected into a patient’s chest cavity so that they can replace missing or defective genes in cancerous cells. This radical mesothelioma treatment continues to be studied, and is considered quite experimental.


Immunotherapy serves to strengthen the mesothelioma patient’s immune system. It most often involves man-made immune system proteins, which are injected to stimulate a patient’s natural ability to fight disease. It is used in conjunction with other mesothelioma treatments.

Photodynamic Therapy

In photodynamic therapy, a light source is combined with a drug that is activated by light (a.k.a. a photosensitizing agent). This drug reacts with oxygen to destroy cancer cells. Cancerous cells appear to collect more of the photosensitizing agent than healthy cells. Therefore, in theory, this treatment kills fewer healthy cells and causes fewer side effects.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In Mesothelioma clinics in California, traditional Mesothelioma treatments and new advancements are used alone, or in combination with other treatments to treat or alleviate symptoms cancer holistically – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. These treatments are usually not accepted as valid by many in the medical profession, but are thought to be effective by many patients and alternative healers. These practices include acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, therapeutic massage and Eastern medicines.

More Information

At law firm of Harowitz & Tigerman, our lawyers understand that anyone affected by mesothelioma wants to assemble as much information as possible. So in addition to this main site, we have built another entire Web site devoted entirely to matters of Mesothelioma and asbestos. Visit our large California Mesothelioma HelpCenter to learn more about the condition.

And our attorneys are always available to assist any Mesothelioma patient. We can answer your questions, not only about the condition, but also about how we can help you get compensation. For a FREE initial consultation with one of our lawyers, contact us.t We do most Mesothelioma work on contingency, which means that we charge you no attorney’s fees until we win you money.

And we recognize that you may be unable to make it to our San Francisco, CA offices, so our lawyers can travel anywhere throughout California, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles and other communities throughout California.