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Causes and How to Treat Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is not a rare form of cancer that is the result of extensive exposure to asbestos. The pleura, the lubricating cells of the chest and lung walls, are affected. The onset of symptoms is gradual and can last up to ten years before changes that indicate this cancer develops.

Causes and How to Treat Pleural Mesothelioma

While pleural disease by itself is not fatal, the complications arising from it can be fatal. For example, the formation of pleural plaques can lead to reduced lung function, resulting in death. Often, the only symptom is thickening of the pleural lining and plaque formation that causes the doctor to investigate further and make a diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Pleura Prognosis

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the first thing that may run through your mind is, "is there a cure?" There is a cure - as long as the disease is caught in the early stages of development. Pleural mesothelioma spreads quickly and can even affect your heart, although it starts off in the pleura. It is said to be fatal within one year of diagnosis. However, early detection is the key to recovery.

Can Mesothelioma Treat?

Depending on how early pleural mesothelioma is detected, life-sustaining treatment can serve to prolong your life. While there is no unlimited cure, this disease can be controlled through treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Surgical resection is possible in the early stages of the disease before the tumor spreads to other parts of the body and can significantly slow the progress of the disease. Operations such as pneumonectomy and extrapleural pneumonectomy which are often used in treating lung cancer and lung conditions also help in slowing down mesothelioma.

Most doctors recommend the use of chemotherapy drugs to manage malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, the Food and Drug Administration has approved only one - the combination of Cisplatin and Alimta (Pemetrexed). All other combinations are currently in clinical trials, and do not have a solid basis for treatment of pleural mesothelioma. Chemotherapy and surgery may often be combined with radiation therapy to slow the growth of tumor cells and prolong life.

In recent times, alternative and complementary therapies have made their way into cancer treatment approaches. While this may not be a standalone treatment, therapies such as reflexology, massage and acupuncture help in increasing the overall effectiveness of the treatment program and aid in pain and anxiety management.

What To Do If You Are Diagnosed With Mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, discuss treatment options with your doctor. While nothing has been proven to cure the disease, there are certainly steps you can take to slow it down, depending on how early it is detected.

Since mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit if your exposure occurs in your job or as a result of sub-standard housing. There are several mesothelioma lawyers who will be happy to help you draft your case and get compensation that can provide you with treatment and for your loved ones, should the treatment not go as planned. Finally, make sure you have a good support group of family or friends who can be with you through your entire treatment and lawsuit. The second is stress, and you need all possible support as you battle it out.

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