Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment

Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment is the last attempt to keep the patient alive by administering medicines and therapies to control the unbearable pain and difficulty in breathing.

Mesothelioma is an unusual cancer because it takes a very long time to manifest and be diagnosed. This latency period can be anywhere from 10 to 50 years, and the symptoms may point to other common conditions, including emphysema, COPD, bronchitis, or even influenza. That’s why it’s important for all people who have worked with or around asbestos, or whose family members had significant exposure to asbestos, to make sure this is noted in their medical history.

Consequently, mesothelioma has usually progressed to an advanced stage by the time a diagnosis is made. Stage IV mesothelioma, also known as the end stage, is the most advanced of the stages. Unfortunately, little can be done at this point to prolong the patient’s life, as the cancer will have spread greatly throughout the body. It’s not uncommon for a patient diagnosed with Stage IV mesothelioma to live for only a few months afterwards, so treatment is strictly palliative, or focused on improving the individual’s quality of life and keeping him or her comfortable.

Palliative Treatments

in Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment, Chemotherapy and radiation can be administered in an attempt to improve the patient’s breathing or help manage their pain. However, the side effects of these treatments are often so harsh that the end-stage mesothelioma patient may opt to forego them.

Consequently, pain medication is often prescribed for Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment, as the pain associated with the condition can be unbearable. The medication – usually narcotics such as morphine, oxycodone, and codeine – can be given to help the patient feel more comfortable.

Another common form of palliative care is supportive care, such as hospice. Hospice care can be provided in an independent hospice facility or in the patient’s own home. Hospice providers offer physical care and emotional support for the patient as well as additional comfort for the patient’s family and close friends.

Determining the Best Options

The extent to which the cancer has metastasized, the location of the tumor(s), and the level of pain that the patient is feeling will all help determine the course of treatment the health care team will recommend. Weighing the potential benefits of the treatments against any side effects that may occur is an important part of the treatment decisions, and a patient will make these decisions in conjunction with family members and doctors.