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What Medical Interventions Are Available to Mesothelioma Victims?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on June 1, 2021

Victims of mesothelioma may have several treatment options available to them to manage symptoms, reduce pain, improve quality of life and increase lifespan. The treatments available depending on the stage of the mesothelioma at diagnosis, as well as the individual patient’s medical history. Learning about the medical interventions available to diagnose and treat mesothelioma can give you more hope for the future as a mesothelioma patient.

Medical Intervention Options for Diagnosing Mesothelioma Victims

A patient who notices potential symptoms of mesothelioma, such as chest pain or a persistent cough, must go to a doctor for an official diagnosis. After listening to the patient’s symptoms and performing a physical exam, the doctor may recommend one of two main procedures used to diagnose mesothelioma:

  • Pleural biopsy. The pleura is the thin lining that surrounds the outside of the lungs. If the patient is suspected to have pleural mesothelioma, a pleural biopsy is used to obtain a tissue sample for testing, usually through a video-assisted thoracoscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure where instruments are asserted into the chest to retrieve a tissue sample.
  • Open procedure. The second option is a thoracotomy. This is an open-chest surgery where a surgeon removes part or all of the lung. The sample obtained will then be sent to a lab for testing to diagnose pleural mesothelioma.

The diagnostic procedures will look different for other types of mesothelioma, such as peritoneal or pericardial mesothelioma. Since these types of cancer affect different parts of the body (the abdomen and heart, respectively), the biopsy or procedure will change accordingly.

Medical Intervention Options for Treating Mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, discuss your treatment options in detail with your doctor. You may also want to get a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist. A specialist can give you access to the latest available treatments for mesothelioma. Accepted medical interventions to treat mesothelioma currently include:

  • Pleurectomy (surgery). This is the surgical attempt to remove the pleura from the lung where the tumor is growing. It helps prevent fluid from collecting in the pleural space, as well, which can relieve symptoms.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (surgery). This procedure removes the entire lung to try to eliminate the tumor. This is a serious procedure done under general anesthesia at a hospital.
  • Chemotherapy (therapy). This treatment option usually combines two different drugs that are specifically tailored to treat mesothelioma. On average, chemo is administered every three weeks and requires four or more cycles.
  • Radiation (therapy). This type of therapy uses a focused beam of radiation administered to the affected area daily, for up to a month. Both types of therapies are used to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
  • Clinical trials (varies). Mesothelioma clinical trials can provide access to alternative treatments using the latest technology. It can provide a variety of treatment options that can come with both health risks and benefits.

Most doctors recommend a multimodal approach. This means a combination of surgery and therapy to eliminate as many cancer cells as possible. However, not every mesothelioma patient is a candidate for surgery. New treatment options are always becoming available from innovative leaders in the industry and state-of-the-art medical technology. There is hope that one day, ongoing research and clinical trials will find an effective cure for this deadly disease.

How a Mesothelioma Attorney Can Help

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a consultation with a mesothelioma attorney in New York can help you better understand your rights. A lawyer who specializes in mesothelioma will have a thorough understanding of your disease, as well as an understanding of your legal options for financial recovery. Hiring an attorney can allow you to focus on your treatment plan and future while an experienced professional fights for justice and compensation on your behalf.


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