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Seniors and Mesothelioma II:5 Treatment Options and Help


Hello, my name is David Sides and I am the Public Outreach Coordinator for The Mesothelioma Center. As Doug mentioned last week, the long latency period of mesothelioma makes this particular cancer difficult to detect and by the time symptoms are noticeable, it is almost always fully metathesized. Despite the grim prognosis for mesothelioma patients, there are certain treatment options to prolong life. The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends four treatment options: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a multimodal approach that combines two or more of the treatment options.

Surgery – Surgery offers the best chance for patients to live longer. If it is pleural mesothelioma (around the lungs), then the cancer tumors will be cut out from around the chest area or for peritoneal mesothelioma then from around the abdomen. Unfortunately, for surgery to be effective, the cancer must be in the early stages, which as we know is not always the case with mesothelioma.

Chemotherapy – A common treatment option for all cancers, chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill the body’s cells: cancerous and non-cancerous. For mesothelioma patients, this can be an option for those who do not qualify for surgery but can also be paired with surgery.

Radiation – Radiation is typically best used to reduce the signs and symptoms for more advanced mesothelioma. In these cases, surgery would not be an option, but radiation is at times used after surgery to eradicate any remaining cancer cells.


Another approach that is not yet part of the first-line of treatment options is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is still in the experimental phase, but progress is being made. It consists of using your immune system to fight the cancer cells, usually by using drugs. This option is considered to be the future of cancer treatments because it focuses on killing only cancerous cells, whereas chemotherapy also targets healthy cells.

Now that you are much more equipped to notice the symptoms of mesothelioma and are aware of your treatment options, it is great to know there are organizations that want to help you. The Mesothelioma Center is a 100% free resource and service center for sufferers of mesothelioma, their families, and their caregivers. They have expert Patient Advocates with years of experience who have built relationships with doctors and treatment centers across the country and can help you find local services that best fit your needs.

Also, due to the misgivings of many companies involved in the manufacturing of asbestos after its harmful effects were known, billions of dollars were even put into an asbestos trust fund for mesothelioma sufferers who are unfairly paying the consequences.  For those that may be interested, The Mesothelioma Center can direct patients to services where they can access this compensation.

If you would like some more information or have some questions, The Mesothelioma Center would be more than happy to help! Patient Advocates can be reached by phone at (800) 615-2270 or email