A mesothelioma diagnosis can be devastating for patients and their families. Still, it’s natural to hope for the best and seek out all available treatment options.
Unfortunately, those options are usually limited. Mesothelioma is a slow-developing form of lung cancer. Most people don’t find out they have it until years, often decades, after being exposed to asbestos, the substance that causes it. By the time of diagnosis, it is usually too late to remove the cancer surgically. It may have spread too far by then. This means that curing mesothelioma is only possible in a few cases.
No cure, but life-extending treatment
That leaves treatment options to remove as much of the cancer as possible to hopefully extend the patient’s life and increase their quality of life. While surgery may not be able to totally remove cancerous growths from the lungs, a surgeon can remove as much of it from the tissue surrounding the lungs as possible. Inserting a tube into your chest can help relieve fluid buildup, making it easier for you to breathe. In some cases, the best course of treatment is to remove a lung.
Your doctor might also prescribe chemotherapy or radiation therapy before or after surgery to reduce the cancer and improve your symptoms. Other treatment options include immunotherapy and targeted therapy medication. Finally, researchers are constantly studying new treatment options for mesothelioma. Participating in a clinical trial might improve your condition, though it is a long shot.
Holding your old employer responsible
The employer or other company that exposed you to asbestos and is responsible for your illness may be liable to you for compensation. This money can help pay your medical bills and help you provide for your family despite being unable to work.