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Experimenting with Alternative Treatment Options for Mesothelioma

There is no question that mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer, and the only known cause is exposure to asbestos. When a person inhales the fibers, those fibers can become embedded in his or her lung tissue, lining of the chest, abdomen and other organs. Once the fibers are embedded, there is virtually no way to detect them.

macaflourWhen a patient presents with asbestos symptoms, a doctor may perform a lung or tissue biopsy, where a portion of the tumor is removed and examined at a histology lab to confirm the presence of asbestos fibers and mesothelioma. Doctors will generally not perform a biopsy on healthy tissues since this type of test is known as a destructive biopsy, which requires the cutting and removal of tissue.

As our Boston mesothelioma lawyers could explain, even if doctors had the ability to identify the microscopic fibers in a patient shortly following asbestos exposure, there is no real way to remove them. Normally, when a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the cancerous growth, and often a significant portion of the healthy tissue to which it is attached, is removed during surgery.

While there are various methods doctors use to treat mesothelioma, they all involve either radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, or a combination of these methods. Even in the best-case scenario, the patient’s life is normally extended only a short period of time, but there is no real way to cure mesothelioma.

In an effort to develop new treatment options, one scientist is experimenting with curcumin, an extract found in turmeric, which is commonly used as a spice for cooking in many parts of the world. According to a recent news article from EMax Health, curcumin has been proven to work as an anti-cancer agent in laboratory animals afflicted with mesothelioma tumors. The turmeric extract has also been show to work as an anti-inflammatory agent, which researchers believe may also be able to work in a similar manner with respect to the growth of tumors caused by asbestos exposure.

Curcumin is also being testing on humans who suffer from mesothelioma for the first time. The theory as to why curcumin may be an effective cure for mesothelioma is because they believe the compound will stop blood supply from reaching malignant mesothelioma tumors.

As part of their work, researchers discovered mesothelioma tumor cells form a set of three tubes. Since scientists were supposedly unaware of this formation of three tubes, traditional medications did not work, because they were not designed to target the specific type of cells now being produced by mesothelioma.

Researchers have also claimed the medicine they are developing can be taken via an oral tablet, and that it has essentially no side effects or other known adverse events. They believe this will allow patients who did not tolerate traditional therapy, such as chemotherapy, which can make a person feel very sick. It is not known whether this treatment will ever become mainstream, and large pharmaceutical companies are not generally in favor of alternative methods of treatment.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional resources:

Exciting research shows curcumin spice could help treat mesothelioma, July 3, 2015, EMax Health

More Blog Entries:

Can Family of Asbestos Workers Sue for Illness?, September 15, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog