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Kinds of Treatment

After diagnosis of mesothelioma, it has been found that on average patients leaving the condition untreated or those using only traditional forms of therapy have a survival rate of only 6 to 12 months. This is a serious example of how important it is to seek medical treatment immediately.

There are treatments for all patients with mesothelioma. Three kinds of treatment that are commonly used are:

Surgery, either by itself or used in combination with pre and postoperative adjuvant therapies has proved disappointing. Research has shown a 5 year survival rate of less than 10% in most cases. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Trials involving forms of radiation treatment have proved somewhat encouraging with 20% of patients experiencing a greater than 50% reduction in tumor mass combined with minimal side effects.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream, travels through the body, and can kill cancer cells throughout the body. You'll need to talk thoroughly with your doctor to decide which treatment is best for you which depends greatly on where the actual cancer is, how far it has spread in the body, and you or the patient's age and general health.

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