Stage 1 Mesothelioma Treatment is the treatment if mesothelioma is diagnosed in its early age, and there are several case histories of recovering totally if treatment starts at its earliest stage.
A rare cancer almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma has an extremely long latency period. This means that a person can be exposed and contract mesothelioma but not show symptoms for a long time. In some cases, people don’t show signs until 50 years afterward. Compounding this problem is that those symptoms are often confused with the symptoms of other lung diseases, such as emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, or COPD. Because of these two factors, it’s not often that mesothelioma is diagnosed in its early stages Stage 1 Mesothelioma Treatment. By the time an accurate diagnosis is made, the cancer has usually progressed to Stage II or beyond.
Nevertheless, mesothelioma may be caught early enough so that a range of treatment options are available. Stage I mesothelioma is also referred to as localized malignant mesothelioma and is characterized by malignant cells that have only harmed one side of the affected area. In some staging systems, oncologists will take into account whether the tumor may be removed surgically.
If the tumor can be safely extracted, the patient and his or her health care team may decide to move forward with surgery. At this time, two major types of surgery exist for localized malignant mesothelioma. One is an extrapleural pneumonectomy, which is available only to those in otherwise good physical health and whose cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes or other major areas of the body. The procedure removes the affected lung, the pleura, the diaphragm, and the pericardium, which is the membrane covering the heart. An extrapleural pneumonectomy is a major surgery and requires a lengthy recovery. It will not cure the condition, but it can significantly extend the patient’s life expectancy as well as provide relief from pain.
The other type of surgery is a pleurectomy. Less serious than a pneumonectomy, this procedure removes the pleura and the tissue surrounding it. Again, this surgery will not cure mesothelioma but provide relief of symptoms.
Radiation and Chemotherapy
Radiation may be offered on its own for patients who are not candidates for surgery. It may also be used in combination with surgical procedures to help eliminate any remaining cancerous cells. The same is true of chemotherapy, which is another traditional treatment that may prove effective in reducing symptoms. An oncologist who chooses to use these therapies in combination is said to be employing a multimodal approach to treatment.
Alternative therapies are also often combined with more traditional approaches. Massage, TENS therapy, yoga, acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, and a healthy diet can all play a role in treating cancer holistically as well as in providing pain relief and relaxation.
Clinical trials, in which a medication or procedure that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration is tested on volunteers, can also be a source of pain relief for some patients. A number of ongoing clinical trials are underway that seek new treatments for mesothelioma sufferers.
Compiling a treatment plan is a venture that should be undertaken among an oncologist and other health-care professionals as well as with the patient’s loved ones and families.