Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Topics included on this page: Drug Therapy Chemotherapy Surgery Radiation Therapy Multimodal Therapy Photodynamic Therapy Immunotherapy Gene Therapy Angiogenesis Therapy Other Therapies Pain Management Holistic Healing Diet and Food Recommendations The doctors pursue several treatment options when confronted with mesothelioma. Radiation treatments, surgery, and chemotherapy have been the traditional options for stemming the growth of cancerous cells, but doctors dealing with mesothelioma have had to develop innovative plans of attack to combat this deadly condition.

There are different mesothelioma treatments available depending on what stage of the disease you are experiencing.  Talk with your doctor so you understand what your treatment options are.

The mesothelioma treatments that are available do not cure mesothelioma, as there is no known cure at this time.  A mesothelioma treatment will help with pain management as well as help to extend your life.  There are three major types of treatments, which include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.  These mesothelioma treatments are often used together.  Which of these treatments you get will depend on a thorough examination by your oncologist. 

 

1. Surgery for Mesothelioma:

• Pleurectomy/decortication

• Pneumonectomy

• Thoracentesis

• Extrapleural pneumonectomy

For patients suffering from peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma, surgery generally involves similar procedures as pleural, such as tissue removal, but as they are much rarer conditions surgery is generally less effective.

2. Radiation Treatments for Mesothelioma:

Radiation treatments relieves a great deal of pain, and victims of pleural mesothelioma suffer reduced instances of shortness of breath. Unfortunately, radiation treatment cannot kill all of the cancerous cells without causing significant damage to the patient.

3. Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma:

Chemotherapy involves one or more anti-cancer drugs taken either in pill form, intravenously, or, in the case of pleural mesothelioma, injected directly into the lungs. These drugs disrupt the growth of cancerous cells,

4. Other New Treatments for Mesothelioma:

New treatments such as photodynamic, angiogenesis, and gene therapy provide new hope for mesothelioma sufferers everywhere. Doctors choose a course of action based on the stage and location of the cancer, and if discovered early enough they can prolong the life of the sufferer, but sadly cannot cure mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma, like all other types of cancer, is incurable. Medical science has made remarkable strides in diagnosing and treating malignancies, but there is currently no way to completely erradicate it.

Cancer is the mutation of a cell or a group of cells that grow uncontrollably and invade healthy ones, causing cell death. In areas where cells replicate rapidly, such as in the skin or breast tissue, cancer is especially dangerous because this replication causes one cancer cell to multiply exponentially over a short period of time. Most cancers are caused by external stimuli, such as exposure to carcinogens like asbestos, which in turn causes mesothelioma.

Effectiveness of conventional mesothelioma treatments:

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lining of the internal organs of the body. Unlike most other types of cancers, Mesothelioma does not respond well to conventional treatments because of the location and prolonged malignancy of the infected cells. Because there are no outward symptoms of the disease, doctors cannot adequetely diagnose it until it is significantly advanced, which limits the effectiveness of many conventional treatments.

Few instances in life are as devastating as being diagnosed with mesothelioma.  The legacy of the negligence and deception on the part of the asbestos industry means that perhaps hundreds of thousands of people must suffer through debilitating conditions like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.  If you are one of these people, you have rights.  Let our dedicated and compassionate mesothelioma lawyers help you fight for your cause and get you the financial compensation you may deserve.  You must hurry though, for the laws called statutes of limitations restrict the amount of time you have to begin your case.  Contact us today.

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Drug Therapy for Mesothelioma

Drug Therapy for Mesothelioma

Therapeutic drugs have been used to treat thousands of illnesses throughout human history. The earliest forms were herbal treatments used to relieve minor pain and suffering. For centuries, Indians in South America chewed the bark of the cinchona plant to reduce swelling and fevers. Later on it was discovered that chemicals in the bark prevented malaria, which hasted the development of the drug quinine. Modern advances in chemistry and medicine have taken this ancient practice and applied to the science of treating cancer, called oncology.

Cancer, like many other illnesses, can be treated through a rigorous regimen of drugs. When fighting cancer, these drugs are designed to inhibit growth of cancerous tumors by halting their cell division. Unfortunately, other rapidly replicating cells such as in the hair and the lining of the stomach and intestines are effected which causes hair loss and nausea. Tragically, drug therapy for mesothelioma is not particularly effective for a few reasons. Mesothelioma takes decades to mature, and by the time victims feel any symptoms the cancerous tumors are built of many layers of dead cells that drugs have difficulty penetrating. Furthermore, drugs take time to fight cancer, and time is a limited resource for many victims of mesothelioma.

In the past, doctors have shied away from drug therapy for mesothelioma since many of the side effects caused by the drugs were far worse that the benefits caused by the therapy.  This fact, combined with the rising number of mesothelioma cases across the country, inspired a number of drug companies to create innovative new drugs designed to combat this devastating and deadly disease.

If you are facing the heartbreak of mesothelioma or have lost a loved one to the tragic disease, a legal victory can help provide closure while securing money for medical expenses and your family’s future security.  If you don’t know where to turn, make sure to consult a dedicated and compassionate mesothelioma attorney immediately.  Don’t grieve in silence – talk to someone who understands your plight today.

Alimta (Pemetrexed)

The Food and Drug Administration approved Alimta in February of 2004 as a new drug therapy for mesothelioma.  It works by inhibiting the creation of thymidine and purine, two enzymes vital to cell growth.  Mesothelioma cells tend not to multiply as fast when exposed to the drug, although there are some rather extreme side effects associated with Alimta treatment.  These include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, mouth sores, and low blood counts, though supplements of vitamin B12 and folic acid can help reduce the severity of these effects.

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Cisplatin

Cisplatin is a platinum-based chemotherapy drug that prevents the reproduction of DNA and is used to treat a number of different cancers including mesothelioma.  The FDA approved it in 1978 to treat a number of cancers, and has proved somewhat effective on mesothelioma. It was first discovered in 1845, but forgotten until the 1960s.  Unfortunately, Cisplatin can cause a number of serious side effects such as hearing loss, kidney damage, nerve damage, and nausea, and so doctors are reevaluating it as a potential drug therapy for mesothelioma.

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Onconase (Ranpirnase/P-30 Protein)

Onconase is a chemical taken from the eggs of the leopard frog that prevents protein synthesis which in turn prevents cell division and growth.  It has shown promise as becoming one of the more effective drugs for treating cancer, as survival rates for one and two years are 34.4% and 21.6 respectively, as opposed to six to eight months without treatment.  Research is underway to determine if Onconase is an effective drug therapy for mesothelioma.

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Veglin

Veglin is a chemotherapy drug that blocks the growth of tumors in people suffering from lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and colon and lung cancers.  Many oncologists believe that it could be effective in fighting mesothelioma, for Veglin inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a substance that is usually found in very high concentrations in mesothelioma patients.  VEGF helps tumors grow new blood cells to gather nutrients from the blood, and Veglin can help block this process and starve tumors to death.

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Tomudex (Raltitrexed)

Tomudexis a drug therapy for mesothelioma that prevents the tumor cells from replicating the DNA they need to multiply and spread.  Recent preliminary clinical studies reveal a somewhat beneficial reaction in mesothelioma patients when the drug was used on its own.  It is also believed to work in concert with another drug called Onconase.

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Vinorelbine

Vinorelbine is a chemotherapy drug isolated from the rosy periwinkle plant that was approved by the FDA in 1994 for the treatment of small cell lung and breast cancer.  Recent studies revealed that Vinorelbine could be an effective drug therapy for mesothelioma with relatively few adverse side effects.  Research continues into the future of combing Vinorelbine with other cancer fighting drugs.

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Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

One of the few options available for doctors to treat mesothelioma is with drugs in the form of chemotherapy.

1. What is chemotherapy for mesothelioma?
Chemotherapy involves one or more anti-cancer drugs taken either in pill form, intravenously, or, in the case of pleural mesothelioma, injected directly into the lungs. These drugs disrupt the growth of cancerous cells, but they also damage normal healthy cells as well. Fortunately, the damage is often repaired quickly, but unfortunately not without significant discomfort.

2. What are the side effects of mesothelioma chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is widely known to cause severe side effects in virtually every patient, with common signs such as:
• hair loss
• nausea
• vomiting
• diarrhea
• constipation
• anemia
• hemorrhaging

Chemotherapy also causes many complicated side effects within the cancerous growth. It is not uncommon in mesothelioma cases to have secondary neoplasms, which are cancerous offshoots of the original tumor that have redirected their growth due to the introduction of anti-cancer drugs.

3. What are the other risks of chemotherapy?

Furthermore, chemotherapy often increases the chances of toxic reactions by the blood, liver, and kidneys, contributing to the potential fatal nature of chemotherapy treatment. Because chemotherapy suppresses the immune system by decreasing antibodies in the bloodstream, any sort of illness or infection can pose significant risks to patients undergoing drug therapy. Other complications are mouth sores which, in combination with the overwhelming nausea and intestinal discomfort caused by chemotherapy, results in many patients failing to eat a healthy diet.

4. Does chemotherapy work well on mesothelioma?
Studies have shown that chemotherapy is not particularly effective in treating mesothelioma because the cancer eludes detection for so long that the side effects of chemo outweigh the pain inflicted by the disease. Early diagnosis is critical for adequate treatment of mesothelioma, but no regimen of drugs and therapy will cure it. Fortunately, scientific advances in drug therapy provide fresh hope for mesothelioma victims throughout the country and around the world.

5. What can you do if you have mesothelioma and chemotherapy has not worked?

If you suffer from mesothelioma and chemotherapy has failed you, then you should consult with an attorney experienced in handling asbestos-related litigation. You have a right to pursue legal action to seek justice from those who wronged you. Don’t delay, for the laws in your state limit the amount of time you have to collect damages, and these statutes of limitations can end your case before it can begin. Contact a lawyer today.

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Surgery for Mesothelioma

Once mesothelioma has taken hold over your body, nothing can stop it. There are a few procedures doctors can pursue in order to alleviate some suffering, but there is no cure. Different courses of action are available for different types of mesothelioma. The nature of pleural mesothelioma is that it usually affects one lung before the other, which gives doctors a bit more freedom to try several different procedures.

For example, if a lung is infected with mesothelioma, a doctor may pursue several surgical options:

These options can be difficult on the patient, but they can sometimes extend both the length and quality of life for a mesothelioma victim.

Pleurectomy/decortication

which removes part of the infected lung and the surrounding chest lining. This reduces the size of the tumor and relieves some off the pressure exerted onto the chest cavity. This procedure is only to relieve pain, for it rarely has any effect on patient survival

Pneumonectomy

involves total lung removal. Gone is the lung, the lining that surrounds it, and some of the support tissues. This surgery is only attempted in the most drastic cases to attempt to relieve the pain of mesothelioma.

Thoracentesis

drains excess fluid from the lungs via a needle. This is done to aid breathing and reduce the pressure on the lungs.

Ultimate surgery for mesothelioma

The most drastic surgery is called an extrapleural pneumonectomy. This complicated procedure requires a relatively healthy patient and a major surgical theater. It must be preformed very early in mesothelioma stages, and involves the total removal of the linings that surround the lung, heart and diaphragm to prevent it from infection with mesothelioma. It is usually preformed as part of a treatment that includes radiation and chemotherapy. This drastic procedure often requires a year to recover, and potentially extends life a few more years, but is not a cure.

Surgeries for other types of mesothelioma

For patients suffering from peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma, surgery generally involves similar procedures such as tissue removal.  These drastic measures are often effective in relieving short-term pain and discomfort, but they will not cure this deadly disease.

Surgery for mesothelioma is an expensive and debilitating last resort for people suffering from this deadly disease.  Unfortunately, these procedures often surpass the amounts many insurance companies are willing to pay, and thus the many families are forced to decide between burdening themselves with enormous debt or consigning their loved ones to unimaginable suffering. 

More and more people are discovering that legal action can help cover these extraordinary costs and make a difference for those suffering from mesothelioma.  Let our dedicated and experienced mesothelioma attorneys help you pursue justice and get you the compensation you deserve.  Contact us today.

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Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma

Radiation therapy is the old standby for many cancer treatments, and mesothelioma is no different.

1. Why use radiation?
High dose radiation is used to directly kill cancerous cells in the body. The radiation destroys cancer cells at the molecular level, and keeps them from replicating. Radiation is usually combined with chemotherapy and surgery to form a total front against cancer.

2. Where does radiation come from?
In previous years, radiation from high energy X-Rays, photons, neutrons, cobalt or other radioactive sources were concentrated on the tumor, and this radiation would kill the cancer cells and prohibit them from growing and spreading. This radiation would come from a machines and radioisotopes, but technology has developed several promising new advances.

3. What does using radiation to treat mesothelioma accomplish?
Radiation is very useful against cancer of cells that divide quickly, like mesothelioma, because it kills cells that replicate fast. When patients undergo radiation therapy, they receive several successively higher doses of radiation, which shrink the tumor to a manageable size. Radiation relieves a great deal of pain, and victims of pleural mesothelioma suffer reduced instances of shortness of breath. Unfortunately, radiation cannot kill all of the cancerous cells without causing significant damage to the patient.

4. What kinds of mesothelioma radiation therapy are available?
There are two main types of radiation therapy: internal and external

  • Internal radiation therapy (also known as brachytherapy) injects small amounts of radioactive material directly into the cancerous tissues, usually through tubes, wires, catheters, and needles.  This allows higher does of concentrated radiation over a shorter time frame on more entrenched tumors.
  • External radiation therapy is the standard type of radiation therapy.  Over the course of a day, weeks, or months, radiation is delivered into a patient to stop the spread of cancer throughout the body.

5. What are the side effects of mesothelioma radiation treatment?
The problem with this therapy is that radiation is non selective and does not just kill bad cancer cells, but also many other healthy cells as well. Most healthy cells being to repair themselves after initial exposure, but this damage and repair are what cause the unpleasant side effects of radiation. Most of the side effects of the radiation are manageable with drugs or other pharmaceuticals, and the benefits usually far outweigh the risks. Some common side effects include:

  • Redness near the irradiated area
  • Infertility
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea

6. What can affect mesothelioma radiation treatment?
Many different variables affect radiation treatment of a mesothelioma tumor. Size, stage, location, and type are all factors considered by doctors when pursing the best route and amount of radiation therapy. The treatment is often given from several angles to best target the site of the tumor. The radioactive material and the dead cancer cells are eliminated from the body through normal excretory processes, and do not usually harm the cells after the treatment. The only downside is that the size and location of the tumor may prevent radiation from properly affecting the target tumor, requiring several treatments.

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Multimodal Therapy for Mesothelioma

When faced with a complicated cancer like mesothelioma, doctors will use their entire wealth of knowledge to treat their patients. They know that one form of cancer treatment such as radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy may not rid the body of cancer alone, so they try what is known as multimodal therapy.

What is Multimodal treatment for mesothelioma?

Multimodal therapy involves using more than one therapy to treat the symptoms or causes of mesothelioma.  Often the weaknesses in one treatment can be compensated by the strengths of another, or one can boost the effectiveness and compliment a different approach.

Is this treatment more effective?

Many previous treatments for cancers such as mesothelioma have involved multimodal approaches. For instance, radiation therapy is rarely used alone, but rather in conjunction with chemotherapy and sometimes even surgery. This multi-pronged attack on the cancerous growth ensures that if one therapy does not quite eliminate the malignancy then the two other therapies will cover what the first one missed.

Multimodal therapy Side effects.

The unfortunate side effects of these elaborate treatments are their side effects; most anti-cancer agents destroy a percentage of healthy cells as well, and three times as many treatments destroy three times as many healthy cells. Multimodal treatments are therefore usually reserved for only the most aggressive or malignant cancers, such as mesothelioma.

Are there new multimodal treatments for mesothelioma in the future?

Mesothelioma is incurable, but not without hope. Scientific advances provide potential new treatments that seemed like science fiction only a few years ago. Through multimodal therapy of a variety of treatments, doctors will continue easing the suffering of mesothelioma victims, and the search for a cure continues.  New avenues of treatment are discovered almost every year, and with hope and perseverance, mesothelioma will hopefully join the growing list of curable diseases.

Expenses of multimodal treatment.

Multimodal mesothelioma treatment can be an expensive undertaking, and there is no reason that the innocent victims of asbestos company’s greed should be forced to shoulder the burden of their medical bills.  Legal action can help offset the costs of medical treatment, and can also help you get the financial compensation you may deserve for your pain and suffering.  Let our dedicated and aggressive mesothelioma lawyers help you fight for your rights.  Contact us today.

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Photodynamic Therapy for Mesothelioma

One of the newest and most exciting types of therapy for mesothelioma is called photodynamic therapy (PDT).

1. How does photodynamic therapy work?
This revolutionary treatment involves doctors injecting a patient with Photofrin, a drug that specifically targets and bonds to mesothelioma cells. This is a very special drug, for when laser or high intensity light is shined on it becomes active and kills the tumor cells. Doctors insert a fiber optic cable into the patient’s chest, and turns on the light.

2. What does this light do?
The light interacts with the drug, creating a special kind of oxygen that eats away the cancerous cells. Timing and aim are critical in PDT, for the doctor needs to shine the light only on the cancer cells that have the drug, not the healthy ones who have also absorbed it.

3. Are their any drawbacks to photodynamic therapy for mesothelioma?
The main drawbacks of this therapy are that the laser light is not very strong, typically only penetrating three centimeters or so, so PDT is best used against tumors that are close to the skin or on the surface of the internal organs. The drugs used in this type of therapy are often absorbed by healthy cells as well, but usually dissipates very quickly, allowing them to regenerate where the cancerous cells had taken over.

4. Are there any side effects to photodynamic therapy for mesotheilioma?
There are also significant side effects. The drugs a patient is given increase the entire body’s sensitivity to sunlight, so a patient must avoid the sun for up to six weeks or risk sun damage. Furthermore, many patients report a metallic taste in their mouths accompanied by severe nausea. Nevertheless, this radical new treatment has demonstrated a marked improvement in many of the clinical trials, but is still too experimental for widespread use.

5. What can I do if I am suffering from mesothelioma?
If you or someone you love is the victim of mesothelioma, you have rights.  The asbestos industry allegedly knew the dangers of their products for years, but chose to hide them from their workers and the public at large.  Now, innocent people affected by this disease are suffering for the greed of these companies, but not all is lost.  Let our dedicated and experienced mesothelioma attorneys help you bring these inhuman corporations to justice, and help you get the compensation you may deserve.  Contact us today.

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Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

Immunotherapy is very similar to gene therapy, in that they both rely on biological mechanisms to do their work. The key difference between them is that while gene therapy introduces new chemicals into the body to destroy the cancer, immunotherapy concentrates on boosting the immune system to fight off the cancer. The overriding problem with cancers like mesothelioma is they have deceived the body into thinking that they are normal cells, and because of this the immune system will not fight them off. Doctors are learning how to force the body to recognize these bad cells and deal with them accordingly.

1. What does immunotherapy for mesothelioma do?
The chemicals that doctors use to provoke the immune system response are known as biological response modifiers, or BRMs. These chemicals realign the immune system to recognize mesothelioma cells as bad and begin to attack them. The body produces many BRMS, but in the case of cancers with prolonged malignancy like mesothelioma, scientists replicate and enhance the natural defense of the body to make it easier to kill off the cancer.

2. How does immunotherapy for mesothelioma work?
By stimulating the immune system, immunotherapy can prevent the cancer from spreading into other tissue systems, and regulate and suppress the body’s ability to grow new cancer. Hopefully, as research progresses it will be found that immunotherapy can even reverse the ability of cancerous cells to make other cells cancerous, and perhaps without significant side effects.

3. What kinds of immunotherapy for mesothelioma exist?
There are a number of different immunotherapies for mesothelioma.  They include:

  • Interferon: one of the original immunotherapies, Interferon stops the growth of cancer cells and boosts the immune systems to fight the disease.
  • Antiangiogenics: These drugs inhibit the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors with the blood they need to survive.
  • Monoclonal antibodies:  These proteins seek out and kill foreign bodies, and can be programmed to discern abnormal proteins that exist on the exterior of cancer cells.
  • Interleukin2: This bodily protein is naturally part of the immune system, and is used to enhance normal processes.

4. What is the future of immunotherapy for mesothelioma?
Immunotherapy is still however in its infancy. There is no guarantee of success, though it has been effective in some animal tests. Problems exist because of the nature of mesothelioma. Some immunotherapies require samples of the tumor to understand what kinds of antibodies it contains. Unfortunately, because mesothelioma is such a complicated cancer, there are sometimes not enough distinguishable antibodies within the tumor to make a custom designed drug. This is potentially catastrophic for the patient if the doctor attempts treatment, for the drug could actually kill their healthy cells because it lacks the sophistication to distinguish healthy tissue from malignant tissue.

Let our knowledgeable and experienced mesothelioma attorneys help you get the compensation you may deserve.  We are ready to fight for you and your rights.  Contact us today.

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Gene Therapy for Mesothelioma

Gene therapy is an exciting new treatment that has given hope to many victims of mesothelioma.

1. How does gene therapy for mesothelioma work?
By accessing the genetic code that predisposes some cells to become cancerous when exposed to asbestos, gene therapy attempts to understand why proteins within cells cause them to be resilient to cancer, while others do not.

2. What does this mean for cells affected by mesothelioma?
It was once thought that genes were complete upon birth, and could not affect conditions afflicted during life, but this turns out not to be the case. Smoking, sunlight, and certain foods can all affect our DNA and cause changes in our genetic code. New insight provided by these conditions caused doctors to view many conditions like malignant mesothelioma in a new light.

3. How can gene therapy help mesothelioma victims?
Mesothelioma is a multifactorial disease, which means several variables contribute to its success. Asbestos exposure is the primary contributing factor, but also inherited genetic mutations in individuals exacerbate it. New developments allow doctors to circumvent genetic predisposition to cancer by using special treatments. Gene therapy represents a revolution in mesothelioma treatment by replacing cancer-causing genes with genes medically engineered to die when exposed to cancerous growths.

4. What do these genes actually do?
These so-called “suicide genes” are a possible way to stop the rapid replication of cancerous cells. Studies have also begun to experiment with replacing cancer generating genes with genes susceptible to certain drugs, from which cancer can be potentially eradicated with few residual side effects. Essentially, mesothelioma patients are infected with a kind of “healthy virus” that attacks “bad cells” and changes their genetic structure.  The two main types of gene therapy for mesothelioma include:

  • Knockout gene therapy:  This gene therapy helps fight mesothelioma by assaulting the genes that cause tumors to form and prevent them from forming.
  • Replacement gene therapy:  This mesothelioma gene therapy replaces a damaged or missing gene with a normal gene that regulates cell growth and division.  The genes replaced are usually one that suppresses tumor growth in other circumstances.

5. What is the future for victims of mesothelioma that need gene therapy?
Gene therapy is still in its infancy, and is by no means completely safe, but clinical trials of new treatments are not without inherent risks. The desperate situation caused by the lethality of mesothelioma often persuades many to participate in various experimental treatments, for any hope of survival outweighs many of the dangers involved.

You may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering if you developed mesothelioma as a consequence of your exposure to asbestos.  Our compassionate and dedicated mesothelioma lawyers are standing by to listen to your case, and have the experience necessary to fight for your rights.  Do not hesitate, for the statute of limitations in your state restricts the amount of time you have to take action.  Contact us today.

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Angiogenesis Therapy for Mesothelioma

Angiogenesis is becoming more and more popular as a potential revolutionary treatment for deadly cancers like mesothelioma.  In order to properly understand how angiogenesis can help victims of mesothelioma, it is important to understand how tumors grow, and what angiogenesis can do to stop them.

1. How do cancerous mesothelioma tumors grow?
Like every other cell in the human body, cancer needs blood to grow and thrive. Tumors actually need more blood than other tissues, because their rapid replication and division require more nourishment that what normal cells use.

2. Where does this blood come from to support angiogenesis in mesothelioma victims?
This blood is supplied by a complicated plumbing involving minute blood vessels called capillaries and larger blood vessels such as arteries and veins which supply blood to the growing tumor. The medical term for developing this network is called angiogenesis.

3.  How can mesothelioma tumors grow so fast to be dangerous?
Tumors are very efficient at initiating and maintaining angiogenesis. They create chemicals called angiogenesis promoters which enhance surrounding tissues’ blood transfer system to supply the oxygen-rich blood they need to survive. As the tumor grows larger and larger, more blood is diverted until the tumor reaches its maximum size and spreads into healthy tissues. When cancerous cells spread to other tissues, they begin to replicate themselves and replace healthy cells, restarting the deadly process anew.

4. How does angiogenesis affect the growth of mesothelioma tumors?
For mesothelioma, the slow onset of the disease combined with its close location to many oxygen-rich blood vessels makes angiogenesis very easy.  The tumors have decades to become entrenched in the body, and allow them to grow undisturbed while they poison the surrounding tissues.

5. What can angiogenesis do for victims of mesothelioma?
Breakthroughs in medical science have produced drugs called angiogenic inhibitors that target and destroy the specific proteins that enable angiogenesis. Clinical studies have demonstrated the ability of these drugs to shut down the capillary response of tumors in lab animals, often causing tumors to completely disappear.

6. How do angiogenic inhibitors try to destroy tumors?
Some of them work by destroying the lining inside the blood vessels in the tumor, while others prevent them from developing blood vessels entirely.  Essentially, the tumors starve to death because they cannot regrow the “plumbing” they need to supply themselves with blood.
7.  What does angiogenesis mean for victims of mesothelioma?
Angiogenic drug tests have only been conducted on animals thus far, but the results are quite promising. The first human tests are now being conducted at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Even though the initial stages of angiogenic inhibitors generate modest results, this type of treatment holds great promise for mesothelioma victims. New treatments take years before they are safe enough to be available to the public at large, but the brave individuals who participate in clinical studies are on the front line in mesothelioma research.

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Other Therapies for Mesothelioma

Modern medical science has granted doctors a wealth of treatment options that attempt to stave off the worse effects of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, most of these treatments are halt the progress of cancer while destroying healthy cells in the process. While these options offer a bit of hope to those suffering the gravest effects of mesothelioma, the pain and misery these side effects inflict mitigate any advances achieved.

New advances in medical technology have generated new enthusiasm for alternative treatments of mesothelioma. Many doctors now take a more holistic approach, in that they take into account the entire spectrum of the human condition when advising patients of avenues of treatments for many conditions including mesothelioma.

One such treatment involves boosting the victim’s immune system to fight off cancerous growths. Patients are advised to:

1. Stimulate natural antibodies in your system by relaxing more. Engaging in massage, Yoga, meditation, regulated breathing methods or other less structured forms of relaxation reduces stress.

2. Incorporate “healthy” fats into a balanced diet. Eliminate processed chemicals like trans fats and adding Omega 3's from fish and seafood with 1-2 tablespoons of flax oil, or 2-4 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed, or 2-4 grams per day of fish oil.

3. Take 10 to 20 milligrams of Melatonin an hour before bed. Melatonin regulates body cycles and has increased the lifespan of mice in clinical experiments.

4. Eat gourmet mushrooms; take mushroom extracts, herbal preparations of Astragalus and Echinacea, purified in concentrated colostrum products. These substances naturally modulate the immune system.

5. Add enzymes before meals to enhance chemotherapy drugs and possibly extend survival. Over-the-counter supplements are available at health food stores. Consult a practitioner familiar with appropriate dosages.

A more traditional but revolutionary approach involves what is called Antineoplaston Therapy. Antineoplastons are proteins found in the urine and blood of humans and some animals. These proteins reveal certain deficiencies in bodily chemicals of those who suffer from cancers, and it is reasoned that restoring the proper chemical balance would then cause the afflicted cells to resort back to their normal, healthy state. This treatment is still undergoing studies at the National Cancer Institute, and it is hoped that it will eventually offer relief for many types of cancers including mesothelioma.

It is important for victims of mesothelioma to never lose hope. Hope is the essence of the human spirit, and that cannot be killed by cancer or asbestos as long as the survivor never relents in their struggle to survive.

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Pain Management for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is undoubtedly a horrific condition, more so in the later stages of the disease.  Pain Management for mesothelioma is one of the most challenging parts of treating this disease in order to improve the quality of life for victims.  Part of the trouble stems from the fact that the drugs required to treat mesothelioma pain can cause almost as much discomfort as the disease itself or can negatively interact with pain-relieving drugs.

Basic types of pain management

Victims of early mesothelioma can treat their pain with a number of over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), and Tylenol.  Unfortunately mesothelioma quickly progresses past the point where it is easily managed by simple analgesics.  Pain management for mesothelioma is different depending on the type of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma can cause mild pain at first in the chest and back and peritoneal mesothelioma can cause abdominal or pelvic discomfort and bowel obstruction.

Advanced mesothelioma pain management

Advanced mesothelioma is far more complicated to treat.  Doctors usually use one of two routes to attempt to bring relief to victims enduring the agony of advanced malignant mesothelioma.  Increasingly powerful opiate drugs such as morphine fentanyl, vicodin, oxycodone, and hydromorphone are strong enough to eliminate a great deal of pain, but have to be strictly monitored by a doctor. 

Epidural drug treatment

Another way doctors manage pain is through epidural implants.  Doctors install a permanent catheter into the spinal column, where a machine introduces preset amounts of strong pain killers directly into the nervous system.  Epidural implants also reduce the number of hospital visits because patients can easily manage their pain while at home or from caregiving facilities.

Other options for victims of mesothelioma

Victims of mesothelioma deserve the best and most powerful pain management, because they suffer agony beyond description.  If you or someone you know developed mesothelioma because of asbestos or other causes, you may be entitled to take legal action against those responsible.  Let a dedicated and experienced asbestos attorney help you discover your rights and get you the justice you deserve today.

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Holistic Healing for Mesothelioma

Holistic healing for mesothelioma usually centers around techniques utilized to relieve the pain and suffering of victims who can no longer stand the discomfort that frequently accompanies powerful chemotherapy drugs.  Mesothelioma treatments such as chemotherapy and pain-relieving drugs can have severe side effects such as nausea, fatigue, vomiting, hair loss, and constipation.  In some cases these side effects are more unpleasant than the condition itself.  There are alternatives to these drastic and sometimes caustic approaches to treating this deadly and incurable disease.

Western Medicine vs. Holisitic Approach

Western medicine has long concentrated on treating only the cause of an illness through the use of rational processes of elimination supported by epistemological conclusions and evidence.  This process has evolved over the course of thousands of years, and many people remain disappointed with the apparent lack of success of some of the most vaunted techniques of modern medicine.  One option is holistic medicine, a type of alternative treatment that focuses on the well-being of the entire body, rather than one system of disease.

Holistic treatments address diseases as part of a whole

Many holistic treatments involve a variety of different approaches including acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga, aromatherapy, and naturopathy.  While these alternative practices can be part of a holistic regime, traditional therapies such as nutrition, preventive care, and exercise have had remarkable results in improving the overall well-being of victims of many types of cancer, including mesothelioma.  The power of a positive mental outlook cannot be understated, and keeping active, fit, and happy can do almost as much good as the latest multimodal or chemotherapy treatments.  If nothing else, holistic treatments for mesothelioma allow people to reflect on the important things in life, and have renewed appreciation for just how precious life is.

The holistic approach to treating mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is without a doubt one of the most difficult and heartbreaking conditions imaginable, but there is always hope.  New treatments and techniques such as holistic healing for mesothelioma offer hope and promise to the victims of this devastating illness.  If you or someone you know has been faced with this terrible disease, you need to consult a dedicated attorney immediately.  You could be entitled to financial compensation for your agonizing struggle.  Contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer today.

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Mesothelioma Diet and Foods Recommended for Patients

A balanced diet is important for proper nutrition and health, but for victims of diseases like cancer, proper eating can make the difference between life and death.  The unfortunate reality is that cancer and the drugs used to treat it can destroy the appetite and drain the body of vital nutrients so that it can no longer fight the drugs.  Nausea, vomiting, and constipation, and even loss of smell and taste can interfere with the desire to eat a balanced diet and ensure health.

A mesothelioma diet and foods recommended for patients can include selections from the four food groups that can help maintain strength and increase energy.  Protein is possibly the most important factor in a mesothelioma diet, because protein helps repair cells damaged by chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.  The prestigious National Cancer institute recommends people with mesothelioma intake foods such as cheese, milk, eggs, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, fish, meat, and ice cream.

Fats are also critical to people suffering from mesothelioma, because fat help store energy so that the body can use it later, and can provide a much needed boost during chemotherapy or radiation treatment.  Although fat intake depends on the size and body type of the person, but the National Cancer Institute believes that high calorie foods such as butter, cheese, milk, honey, sugar, dried fruits, and granola can help the body replenish fat stores used during the mesothelioma recovery process.  Water is also important because it helps keep people hydrated when chemo and radiation reduce the amount of fluid in tissues.  Other people choose to throw caution to the wind, and eat whatever they desire, believing that food is a simple pleasure in life and the joy experienced from eating their favorite dishes has a more positive effect than a menu of “approved” foods.

Tragically mesothelioma tends to be a terminal diagnosis, though a balanced diet can help victims of mesothelioma maintain their overall health and improve their quality of life.  If you developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure or if you have lost a loved one to this insidious cancer, you could be entitled to monetary compensation for your grief.  Let a dedicated, knowledgeable, and compassionate asbestos lawyer help you get the restitution you deserve today.

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Mesothelioma Treatment Options page updated on 6/05/2013