Although pericardial mesothelioma has no cure, there are numerous pericardial mesothelioma treatment options that extend the lifespan of the patient while improving life quality.
This is a guest post from Ashley Stafford at www.TreatMesothelioma.org.
Generally, this disease has a poor prognosis due to its location, the pericardium. This is the lining that rests on the heart making this delicate organ susceptible to damage by most therapies. For this reason, most pericardial mesothelioma patients are not ideal candidates for surgical procedures. Nevertheless, there are cases where surgery is performed to remove localized, small tumors especially when the disease is diagnosed early.
Major treatment options for pericardial mesothelioma
To determine the most appropriate treatment option for any patient, doctors consider several factors. These include the overall health of a patient and extent to which the disease has spread to the surrounding tissues and organs.
Major treatment options for pericardial mesothelioma include:
After careful examination, doctors may decide that a patient is an ideal candidate for a surgical procedure. In that case, pericardiectomy may be performed. This is a surgical process for removing a part of or the entire pericardium. It helps in relieving pressure while minimizing fluid buildup. Consequently, the heart continues to function properly. Another procedure called pericardiocentesis is performed to remove the excess fluid in the pericardium thereby relieving the pressure around the patient’s heart.
Chemotherapy is a treatment option that is considered for most asbestos-related cancers. However, studies have shown that there are minimal clinical benefits of this treatment for pericardial mesothelioma patients. This is also the case for radiation therapy which is considered for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.
Palliative treatment provides the most common and viable treatment option. The aim of palliative treatment is to reduce symptoms that result from fluid buildup in the pericardium and to minimize pain. Palliative care improves life quality while making the patient more comfortable. Common palliative treatment approaches include therapies for relieving pressure and pain around the patient’s heart. These include pain medication and pericardiocentensis.
This is also an effective pericardial mesothelioma treatment option that removes excess fluid from the pericardium. It is used to provide comfort to pericardial mesothelioma patients.
This includes clinical trials and new treatment methods for pericardial mesothelioma such as photodynamic therapy, gene therapy, intensity modulated therapy and new chemotherapy agents. These treatment options are also called radical mesothelioma treatments. Other mesothelioma treatment options in this category include antineoplaston therapy, angiogenesis therapies, interferon therapy, interleukin therapy, and radiofrequency ablation.
How to improve pericardial mesothelioma prognosis
Almost 50 to 60 percent of individuals that are diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma die within 6 months after this diagnosis. However, it is possible to extend life expectancy after diagnosis. Change in lifestyle for instance can improve prognosis. For example, if a smoker is diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma, quitting smoking can extend life expectancy after treatment. Additionally, seeking treatment early can extend life expectancy.
Nevertheless, though there are treatments that attempt to prolong mesothelioma patient’s life, most of them focus on improving life quality by lessening symptoms and pain.
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