Can Mesothelioma be cured?
The question generally everyone asks is can mesothelioma be cured? For that, you first need to be diagnosed correctly and on time.
If you have signs and symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct a physical examination to check for any lumps or other abnormal signs.
This diagnoses won’t answer can mesothelioma be cured? But will show you the right time to step for treatment
Your doctor may order imaging scans to look for abnormalities, such as chest X-rays and computerised tomography (CT) scans of your chest or abdomen.
Based on the findings, you can undergo further testing to determine if mesothelioma or any other disease is causing your symptoms and then look for an answer whether can mesothelioma be cured or not?
Biopsy, the process of removing a small portion of tissue for laboratory examination, is the only way to determine if you have mesothelioma. Depending on which area of your body is affected, your doctor selects the right biopsy procedure for you.
It includes the following:
- Inserting a needle through the skin. The doctor may remove a piece of fluid or tissue with a thin needle inserted through the skin on your chest or abdomen.
- Collecting a sample of tissue during surgery. A fluid or tissue sample may be collected during operation. The surgeon can make a small incision and insert a tube with a video camera to look inside your chest or abdomen. Special devices can be passed through a tube to collect tissue samples.
Tissue samples are analyzed under a microscope to see if the abnormal tissue is mesothelioma and what type of cells it contains. The type of mesothelioma determines your treatment plan.
The extent of cancer
Once your mesothelioma is confirmed, your doctor may recommend additional tests to understand whether your cancer has spread to your lymph nodes or other areas of your body.
Tests may include:
- CT scan of chest and abdomen
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- positron emission tomography (PET)
Your doctor determines which tests are appropriate for you. Not every person needs every test.
Your doctor uses the information from these tests to determine a stage in your cancer. The stages of pleural mesothelioma are indicated using Roman numerals from I to IV. A low number means that the cancer is likely to be localized in the area around the lungs and the highest number means that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
Cancer staging systems continue to evolve and become more complex as doctors improve cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor uses your cancer stage for treatment that is right for you.
Formal stages are not available for other types of mesothelioma.
Treatment (Can mesothelioma be cured)
Which treatment you have to undergo for mesothelioma depends on your health and some aspects of your cancer, such as its condition and location.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is often an aggressive disease and treatment is not possible for most people. Mesothelioma, when diagnosed has generally reached to an advanced stage which makes it impossible to remove through an operation. Instead, your doctor can work to control your cancer to make you more comfortable.
Discuss treatment goals with your doctor. Some people want to do everything they can to cure their cancer, even if it means lasting effects for a small chance of improvement. Others prefer treatments that make them comfortable so that they can spend the rest of their time as symptom-free as possible.
Can mesothelioma be cured through surgery?
Surgeons perform the removal of mesothelioma when diagnosed at an early stage. In some cases, it can cure cancer.
Most of the time, it is not possible to overcome cancer. In this situation, surgery can help reduce the signs and symptoms caused by the spread of mesothelioma in your body.
Surgical options may include:
- Surgery to reduce fluid buildup: Pleural mesothelioma can build up fluid in your chest, which makes breathing difficult. Surgeons insert a tube or catheter into your chest to flush out the fluid. The doctor may inject the medicine into your chest to prevent fluid from coming back (pleurodesis).
- Surgeons may remove tissue lining the ribs and lungs (pulmonary): This procedure will not cure mesothelioma, but can relieve signs and symptoms.
- Removing the affected lung and the tissue around it can provide relief from signs and symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. If you are receiving radiation therapy to the chest after surgery, this procedure allows doctors to use higher doses, as they will not have to worry about protecting your lungs from harmful radiation.
- Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma: Peritoneal mesothelioma is treated with surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery.
Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Systemic chemotherapy travels throughout the body and can reduce or slow the development of mesothelioma that cannot be removed using surgery. Chemotherapy can also be used before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) to ease the operation or after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) to reduce the likelihood that cancer will return.
Chemotherapy drugs can also be heated and administered directly into the abdominal cavity (intraperitoneal chemotherapy) in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma.
Radiation therapy focuses high-energy rays from sources such as X-rays and protons at a specific location or spots on your body. Radiation may be used after surgery to kill the remaining cancer cells. This can help reduce the signs and symptoms of advanced cancer in situations where surgery is not an option.
In some situations, other treatments may be used to treat mesothelioma. Other treatments include:
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body’s disease-fighting immune system cannot attack your cancer because cancer cells produce proteins that bind the cells of the immune system. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process. This treatment may be an option if other treatments are not working.
- Targeted Medicine:Targeted medicine uses drugs that attack specific weaknesses in cancer cells. These drugs are not commonly used to treat mesothelioma, but your doctor may recommend targeted therapy based on the results of a tumor DNA test.
Clinical trials are studying new mesothelioma treatment methods. People suffering from mesothelioma may opt for a clinical trial to try new types of treatment. However, a cure is not guaranteed. Consider your treatment options carefully and talk to your doctor about which diagnostic tests are open to you. Your participation in a clinical trial can help doctors understand how mesothelioma can be treated in the future.
Clinical trials are currently investigating several new approaches to mesothelioma treatment, including new targeted medical drugs and new approaches to immunotherapy.
Treatment for other types of mesothelioma
Know – How Can mesothelioma be cured?
Pericardial mesothelioma and mesothelioma of the tunica vagina are very rare. Early-stage cancer can be removed through surgery. Doctors have yet to determine the best way to treat later-stage cancer.
No alternative medical treatment has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of mesothelioma. But complementary and alternative treatments can help control the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. Discuss the options with your doctor.
Mesothelioma can cause pressure inside your chest that can make you feel as if you are always short of breath. Shortness of breath can be irritating. Your doctor may recommend using supplemental oxygen or taking medicines to make you more comfortable, but often these are not enough. Combining your doctor’s recommended treatments with complementary and alternative approaches can help you feel better.
Alternative remedies include some promises to help people struggling with bad breath:
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture uses thin needles inserted at precise points in your skin.
- Respiratory training: A nurse or physical therapist can teach you breathing techniques when you feel difficulty in breathing. Sometimes you feel breathless and nervous. Using these techniques can help you feel more in control of breathing.
- Relaxation exercise: Gradually relaxing and resting individual muscle groups can help you feel more relaxed and breathe easier. Your doctor may refer you to a doctor who can teach you relaxation exercises so that you can do them on your own.
- Sitting near the fan: Directing a fan to your face can help reduce breathlessness.
Can mesothelioma be cured?
Diagnosis of mesothelioma can be disastrous not only for you but also for your family and friends. To regain a sense of control, try the following:
- Know enough about mesothelioma to make decisions about your care. Write questions to ask your doctor. Good places to start looking for more information include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
- Surround yourself with a support network. Close friends or family can help you with your daily chores, such as appointments or treatments. If you have trouble asking for help, learn to be honest with yourself and accept help when needed.
- Look for other people with cancer. Sometimes there are questions that can only be answered by others with cancer. Support groups offer the opportunity to ask these questions and get support from people who understand your situation. Online support message boards, such as the Cancer Survivors Network of the American Cancer Society, can provide the same benefits, allowing you to remain anonymous.Ask your health care team about advance instructions that guide your family on your medical wishes if you can no longer speak for yourself.
So, to answer “Can mesothelioma be cured?” Yes it can, provided the right time diagnosis, treatments and required care and support is there.