Traditional Mesothelioma Treatment - Traditional mesothelioma treatments are the standard treatments for malignant mesothelioma, which is a cancerous disease affecting the mesothelial cells in tissues of the human body. Treatment methods of mesothelioma diverge due to a number of factors, such as the location of the cancer cell, the stage of the disease, and a patient's personal choices. In general, traditional mesothelioma treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, or different combinations of these three treatments.
Surgery or surgical treatment is employed to either remove the cancer from the affected organ or alleviate pain. Sometimes, it may be impossible to remove all parts over which the affliction has spread; however surgical intervention may help in reducing pain. Two major types of surgical treatments include "pneumonectomy" and "palliative procedures."
Pneumonectomy involves the surgical removal of a lung. This method comes in two varieties, "traditional pneumonectomy" in which the diseased lung is removed, and "extrapleural pneumonectomy" wherein the afflicted lung as well as part of the pericardium, diaphragm or parietal pleura on the same side of the chest, are removed.
In palliative procedures, treatment used does not heal mesothelioma, but eases pain and controls symptoms. "Thoracentisis" and "pleurectomy/decortication" are among the various palliative procedures. In thoracentisis, a needle is put into the chest cavity, either to drain fluid for diagnosis, or to drain fluid to relieve pain. Pleurectomy/decortication removes the pleura so as to lessen pain or prevent the recurrence of pleural effusion.
Chemotherapy is another important traditional mesothelioma treatment used to kill cancer cells by injecting medicines intravenously into the ailed areas. This method also involves the use of drugs to keep cancer cells from multiplying. Side effects can be quite severe in this treatment because chemotherapy may even destroy healthy cell in addition to the cancer cells. Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hair loss, constipation, decreased appetite and mouth sores are some of its side effects.
Radiation treatment (radiation therapy or radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays (like x-rays) to damage mesothelioma cancer cells in a localized area. Although healthy cells may also be affected, they can repair themselves more effectively. The side effects of radiotherapy as a traditional mesothelioma treatment include fatigue, hair loss, skin irritation, nausea and difficult breathing.