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Radiation before surgery may be helpful for mesothelioma patients

Caused by exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma is a silent killer that is very aggressive. Almost all mesothelioma cases are fatal. In many cases, because the detection is so late, many individuals only have months to live. However, a new study may provide a little bit of hope to North Carolina mesothelioma patients.

The typical survival rate of someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is roughly three years, although some individuals have much less time to live. The survival rate of three years is when surgery is performed first. However, this new study suggests that, by taking part in five days of radiation therapy prior to going under the knife, the survival rate can be doubled.

There were 25 participants that took part in this four-year study. They went through five days of radiation therapy that targeted the diseased area only, so that the spine, heart and other nearby healthy organs and tissues were not a part of the radiation. One week later, the diseased lung was removed in surgery.

Patients experienced fewer complications, shorter treatment and a faster recovery. The average treatment took roughly five months, but that time was reduced to one month in this study. In addition, the radiation helped to lower the risk of the cancer sprouting up again.

Although this is no cure, it can help improve one's quality of life even after being diagnosed with the deadly disease. It is important that North Carolina mesothelioma patients and their loved ones know that they are protected by the law. Whether one has come in contact with asbestos at a worksite or elsewhere, people can obtain relief through the legal system and hold those responsible liable for the harm caused.

Source:, Mesothelioma patients treated with radiation before surgery experience speedier recovery, No author, Jan. 21, 2014

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