New Mesothelioma Treatment May Save Lungs

There is no question that being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma is essentially a death sentence.  The vast majority of patients who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma will be dead with a year or two of learning they are victims of this almost exclusively asbestos-related cancer.

x ray analysisThere is no cure for mesothelioma, and many researchers do not know if there will ever be due the fact that it is almost always in a very advanced stage once they receive a diagnosis. This reason for this is because, once a victim is exposed to the deadly asbestos fibers, the fibers can become lodged in a protective layer of tissue known as the mesothelium.  At this point, the body has no way to remove these fibers, and they will start to cause cells to mutate into what will ultimately be classified as malignant mesothelioma.  

This process typically takes between 20 and 50 years (30-to-40 years on average) before a patient will experience symptoms of mesothelioma like difficultly breathing and severe abdominal pain or chest pain.  By this point, the cancer is in a very advanced state and, while the mesothelioma may have started in the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen, it may have spread to many other parts of the body.

While there is no cure, there are treatment options that can extend a patient’s life expectancy after initial diagnosis is made.  However, it is important to understand that these treatment options are very invasive and typically extend a patient’s life expectancy by a matter of months up to a few years, but with so many side effects, these are not always good years.

As discussed in a recent news article from Medical Xpress, treating malignant pleural mesothelioma often requires the most invasive surgical procedures.  One typical procedure involves cutting out large sections of a patient’s lungs, or a patient’s entire lung and then applying a heated chemotherapy wash to what is left of the victim’s lungs.

However, there is a new mesothelioma treatment being studied that would allow doctors to save the patient’s lungs.  Researchers hope this will have a much lesser impact on a patient’s quality of life following treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.  As our Boston mesothelioma attorneys can explain, malignant plural mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of malignant mesothelioma, but also can be the most painful and difficult to treat.  Mesothelioma can also occur in the abdomen, where it is called peritoneal mesothelioma or the chest cavity, where it is called pericardial mesothelioma.

This new study involved over 70 patients who are all suffering from advanced cases of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).  These patients were treated with a new technique that did not involve removal of an entire lung.  It is believed that this may significantly increase the victims’ life spans, because as one doctor interviewed for the article stated, the removal of entire lung is a very aggressive procedure that can make life very difficult for the patient following the operation.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Lung-sparing surgery may boost mesothelioma survival, December 23, 2016, By Maureen Salamon, Medical Xpress

More Blog Entries:

Rondon v. Hennessy Industries, Inc. – “Inevitable Use” Standard in Asbestos Litigation, July 2, 2016, Boston Mesothelioma Attorney Blog

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