Mesothelioma is a rare and malignant cancer that coats most of the body’s internal organs due to exposure to asbestos. The most common form affects the lungs, but the abdomen can also be affected. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need to understand your treatment options and learn how to cope.
Know what symptoms you can expect.
You don’t want any symptoms to shock you out of nowhere. If you know what to expect, you can plan for and deal with it better (especially if you were lucky enough to catch it early). Common symptoms include:
· Shortness of breath
· Chronic worsening cough
· Coughing up blood
· Chest tightness
· Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
· Loss of appetite
· Swelling of the face or neck
· Weight loss
· Chronic respiratory infections
· Lumps under the skin on your chest
Consider current studies and research.
Mayo Clinic is doing two studies on mesothelioma. One is on a measles virus vector (MV-NIS) in the treatment of mesothelioma. This viral agent looks for infected cells and concentrates radioactive iodine into them. The virus can be followed via CT scans, where specialists can study the affected areas and administer more toxic radioactive iodine to target the mesothelioma tumors. Ask your doctor about clinical trials and studies you can enter for new treatment approaches.
Another clinical trial is being led by Dr. Julian Molina, MD Ph.D. utilizing the drug pazopanib, which is an angiogenesis drug that targets new blood vessel growth in the cancerous tissue.
Baron and Budd is a great example of a firm that specializes in compensation for people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Compensation can help sufferers with financial needs, including the numerous medical expenses. You can also ensure that your family is taken care of in the event of death or disability.
Consider your treatment options. Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease. Depending on the stage and your current health, you can have a few treatment options:
· Surgery can help to reduce suffering and reduce some of the cancer. It is unlikely to remove all of the cancer unless it is caught at an early stage.
· Chemotherapy can slow or kill cancerous cell growth. This can be done on its own or in conjunction with surgery.
· Radiation uses high energy beams to target cancerous areas on the body.
· Thoracentesis can remove fluid buildup from your lungs.
· Pneumonia and flu vaccines can help reduce your risk of getting sick on top of the cancer.
Try out alternative medicine. Natural therapies can work to help manage symptoms with minimal to zero side effects. Some common natural treatments may include:
· Oxygen can help with chest tightness and shortness of breath.
· Acupuncture, Biofeedback, and chiropractic treatment can help manage pain and shortness of breath.
· Ginger and mint can help sooth nausea and upset stomach.
· Quit smoking, if you are a smoker, to help increase your lung function.
· Yoga or gentle exercise can help re-strengthen muscles depleted by radiation or chemotherapy.
· Breathing exercises can help with stress and breathing problems.