Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be devastating. It is caused by exposure to asbestos and may go undetected for decades. People who have this rare form of cancer often learn that the disease is slow to develop but can be very aggressive by the time of diagnosis. Many mesothelioma victims pass away within months after they are diagnosed because the cancer may have already spread to other organs or tissues.
But researchers and doctors are constantly working to find ways to treat the illness. While there is no cure yet, there is evidence to suggest that doctors are identifying ways to slow the growth of the disease and improve the quality of a person’s life after they are diagnosed. Recently, medical researchers announced that they have found some success in treating mesothelioma with a new approach.
The new process is quite aggressive. It combines surgery with radiation and chemotherapy to remove and control cancerous tumors. According to reports, the approach has resulted in improved survival rates, adding as many as two or three years to a person’s life.
During the course of treatment, doctors remove as much of affected tissue as possible. This can include the pleura and other surrounding cells in which a tumor has been detected. After this, a patient is treated with varying levels of radiation and then chemotherapy, if appropriate. Overall, 20 patients were treated in this manner during the research and as many as 49 percent of them were expected to live for three more years.
The results are certainly encouraging and researchers say that this course of treatment is effectively increasing survival rates more than any other method.
But as many mesothelioma victims and their families know, any type of treatment for this illness can be expensive. Even as research and care options improve, people may still think that treatment is out of their reach. However, victims can work with an attorney to pursue compensation from negligent parties in order to cover the costs of treatment, medical bills and other expenses related to this disease.
Source: Surviving Mesothelioma, Doctors Describe ‘Concrete Therapeutic Approach’ for Mesothelioma Nov. 15, 2013