Chemotherapy and Mesothelioma
If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma after a tissue biopsy, you and your doctors are most likely exploring the different treatment possibilities that would suit your cancer case the best. Your doctor may have suggested chemotherapy if your mesothelioma is malignant. Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment which uses a concoction of chemical substances in order to try and attack the abnormal cancer cells by preventing them from multiplying.
Chemotherapy for mesothelioma is not considered to be “curative.” Because of this, the main goal for chemotherapy with mesothelioma is to keep the cancer under control by stopping or slowing its growth. It can also shrink tumors prior to surgery and can relieve symptoms such as severe pain. Chemotherapy used to treat symptoms and pain is called palliative chemotherapy and is only used when drastic tumor reduction is not expected.
Two chemotherapy drugs, Alimta and Cisplatin, are the first FDA approved chemotherapy treatment specifically for malignant pleural mesothelioma. It is currently the number one treatment for mesothelioma patients who are not surgery candidates.
Since chemotherapy uses chemicals to try and attack cancer, the chemicals also have severe side effects that affect your body as a whole. Common side effects of chemotherapy include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hair loss
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- General malaise and flu-like symptoms
- Constipation and bowl issues
For more information on mesothelioma and your particular diagnosis and various treatment options, contact the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Help Center today.