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Mesothelioma Treatment

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on October 24, 2023

Information from a Trusted New York Mesothelioma Attorney

There is no cure for mesothelioma, deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure, but there are mesothelioma treatments that can help manage the effects of the disease, extend life expectancy and improve quality of life.

When you need a mesothelioma lawyer in New York, turn to our firm. The team at The Williams Law Firm, P.C. understands the impact this disease can have on victims and families. A national leader in asbestos exposure litigation, our finding lawyer and his staff can help you get the care you need and fight for the financial security you deserve. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed, the time to start exploring your legal options is now.


Mesothelioma treatment options


Your mesothelioma oncologist will recommend a treatment plan based on a number of individual factors, including the type of mesothelioma, the extent of cancer’s spread, the size of tumors, your age, and your general health.

The primary treatments for mesothelioma are:

These options are also used in a multimodal approach that combines two or three treatments. As therapies for mesothelioma continue to be developed, your oncologist may also suggest that you participate in clinical trials for new treatment methods.


Surgical treatment for mesothelioma can be especially beneficial for patients in the early stages of cancer. These procedures involve the removal of the affected mesothelium, a tissue layer that lines most organs. Mesothelioma most often originates in the pleura, the protective membrane around the lungs, although it can also develop in the mesothelium of the abdomen or the heart and spread to surrounding organs.

Patients who suffer from early-stage pleural mesothelioma—the most common type of mesothelioma–may benefit from an aggressive surgery known as extrapleural pneumonectomy, in which both the pleura and the diseased lung itself are removed. Other surgical procedures may be used to drain accumulated fluid from the lungs or abdomen in order to improve breathing and relieve chest or abdominal pain.


Chemotherapy uses a mix of medications to kill cancer cells and restrict the uncontrolled spread of mesothelioma. This course of treatment is often utilized as a follow-up to mesothelioma surgery or in conjunction with radiation treatment. Mesothelioma patients who are not candidates for surgery are typically treated with a blend of chemotherapy and radiation therapy in order to reduce tumors, slow the spread of the cancer and reduce discomfort.


Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, employs high-dosage radiation to destroy cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors. In patients who have undergone an extrapleural pneumonectomy, radiation may be administered following surgery in order to decrease the risk of pleural mesothelioma recurrence. Patients who receive radiation as part of their mesothelioma treatment plan generally begin radiotherapy about a month following surgery.


Talc pleurodesis is a treatment option to remove a buildup of fluid in the lining of the lungs (pleural effusion). The goal of this medical procedure is to decrease a patient’s discomfort by reducing the amount of fluid that is pressing against the lungs, allowing the patient to breathe easier. Talc pleurodesis can also help prevent pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung from too much air getting into the pleura.

Talc pleurodesis can be performed in two ways: through abrasion or a chemical irritant. Abrasion closes the space between the lung and the chest wall. A chemical irritant adheres the lung to the wall to seal the space. Both use talc to cause irritation and inflammation to close the space. The talc may be applied through a spray mixture of talc and saline or in powder form. A patient may need multiple talc pleurodesis treatments to help manage pleural effusion over time.


Thoracentesis (also called pleurocentesis) is an outpatient procedure that may be used to improve the quality of life for a patient with pleural mesothelioma. It involves inserting a tube or needle into the patient to extract fluid from the pleural cavity, easing breathing by aiding lung expansion. It is not a curative treatment and will not generally affect life expectancy, but it can improve quality of life by providing easier breathing to the patient. It is often used as a palliative treatment for mesothelioma, meaning its goal is to make a patient more comfortable rather than to treat the illness. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a numbing agent to make the patient more comfortable.

Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment

A multimodal treatment plan is the most common recommendation given to patients with mesothelioma. This is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. First, surgery is used to remove as much of a cancerous tumor as possible. Then, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used to target and destroy any remaining cancer cells in the affected areas. The order of treatments can be rearranged according to the patient’s unique needs. Multimodal treatment can shrink tumors and slow the spread of cancer throughout the body.


In addition to these traditional forms of mesothelioma treatment, clinical trials for other potential treatments are ongoing in an effort to find a cure for mesothelioma. Photodynamic therapy—which uses light-based energy to destroy cancer cells—has demonstrated success with other forms of cancer and may be effective in combination with other mesothelioma treatments. Gene therapy that targets tumors does not destroy healthy cells and alters cancerous cells to make them vulnerable to medications that were previously ineffective has also shown promise in early clinical trials. Clinical trials are also underway for new targeted drug therapies.

New Treatments Are On the Horizon

Hope is available for patients with mesothelioma. Around the world, scientists and researchers are constantly searching for new ways to treat – and ultimately cure – mesothelioma. For example, recently, artificial intelligence was used to analyze DNA-sequenced mesotheliomas and identify their paths. Researchers may be able to use these paths to predict the aggressiveness of a patient’s cancer and the best course of treatment. There are other artificial intelligence technologies being used to detect and measure mesothelioma tumors, as well. 

Already, modern technology and medical innovations have improved the treatment options available for patients with mesothelioma. Cutting-edge treatments have helped patients with this terminal illness live longer and more comfortably. While survival rates can vary significantly, there are patients who live 10 years or longer after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Artificial intelligence is just one example of many ways in which new technologies and medical knowledge are being used to improve mesothelioma treatment and care.

How Much Does Mesothelioma Treatment Cost?

The price of mesothelioma treatment can be immense. If a patient receives multimodal therapy, the cost can average between $11,000 and $12,000 per month. While the out-of-pocket costs shrink significantly with health insurance, the cost of care can still be significant enough to cause a family financial hardship. 

If you qualify to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you may be able to recover some or all of these costs of your medical care from a defendant. A successful case could result in payment for your past and future health care, palliative care, end-of-life care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Discuss the value of your mesothelioma lawsuit with one of our attorneys today.

For information on medical centers that specialize in mesothelioma research, clinical trials, and treatment, please see our Mesothelioma Support and Resources page.

If you or a family member was diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact The Williams Law Firm, P.C. at (855) 575-6376 today. We are ready to assess your case and help you explore any legal avenue towards securing you the compensation you deserve.

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