Asbestos Cancer Treatment options are available that can relieve symptoms and prevent the spread of the cancer, though there is no cure to it. No matter how early it is detected or what kind it is, cancer is truly life- altering diagnosis. With asbestos cancers, the diagnosis can come as a shock, but it may be reassuring to know that researchers are working diligently to improve life expectancies and quality of life.
Traditional Asbestos Cancer Treatment Options
- Chemotherapy – With chemotherapy, a drug or mixture of drugs is taken, either in pill form or administered directly through an IV. These drugs attack asbestos cancer cells by shrinking and killing them. Patients may receive chemotherapy every week for many months. It is an extremely aggressive treatment usually performed with other treatments.
- Radiation – During radiation therapy, a beam of a high-ion laser is placed above the location of the tumor. Undergoing radiation is similar to getting an X-ray but for a longer period of time. This process attempts to save as many good, healthy cells as possible, but it can be damaging to those cells. As a result, radiation is typically used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
- Surgery – Surgery is usually not an option in the more advanced stages, when the tumor has spread to multiple areas of the body. If it is detected in earlier stages, though, patients may undergo an operation to remove the tumor. The patient will usually undergo either radiation or chemotherapy along with surgery, either before or after, to ensure the cancer is eradicated.
Alternative Asbestos Cancer Treatment Options
- Acupuncture – This treatment is not intended to cure asbestos cancer but is helpful for managing pain and side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
- Massage Therapy – Massage therapy is used to treat pain. In the cancer’s more advanced stages, when pain medications may not be useful, massage therapy can be an alternative for pain management.
- Clinical Trials – Patients may elect to be a part of a clinical trial, which is when doctors, drug companies and researchers test new treatments. Patients and their families should be aware of the risks and the commitment involved in the process, as the outcome may not always be positive.
- TENS Therapy – A holistic treatment intended to relieve pain, TENS (or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) does not treat the cancer itself. The process involves the application of electrodes to the point of pain or tumor and shocks the area with electric stimulation. This therapy is not widely available and may not be right for all patients.
- Angiogenesis Inhibition – In this procedure, medications called angiogenic inhibitors are administered to the tumor and the immediate surrounding tissues, limiting blood flow and slowing the tumor’s growth. This procedure is still experimental.