Canadian Mesothelioma Treatment Options

The options available for Mesothelioma treatments in Canada are very similar to the treatment options available elsewhere and include radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and, controversially, herbal or natural treatments and remedies. The recommended treatment will invariably depend upon age and the progression, severity, and location of the cancer, taking into account the overall health and preferences of the patient.

Mesothelioma Surgery

Surgery is performed for one of two reasons – either to remove the cancer itself depending on the location, or simply to improve the quality of life and the comfort of the patient. Although this is not the most common form of treatment, it can be very beneficial if the patient is diagnosed early. The most common cause for surgery in a mesothelioma patient, however, is a general surgery done to remove fluid buildup in and around the lungs. Surgery may be used in combination with both chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments.

Chemotherapy and Radiation

While chemotherapy is not a cure for mesothelioma, it can greatly reduce symptoms and discomfort caused by the cancer. Chemotherapy is administered either by pill, or by direct injection into the abdomen or chest cavity. The side-effects associated with chemotherapy however, deter some patients from this treatment. Radiation is generally reserved for treatment when a patient becomes too weak to clear for surgery or chemotherapy. The side-effects of radiation are not as severe as those of chemotherapy so it is a much better tolerated option for treatment for those who cannot, or do not wish to, go into chemotherapy treatment. Radiation is often used in conjunction with surgery to improve comfort and, potentially, the life expectancy of the patient. Treatment is usually administered five days per week on average and reduces bleeding and pain as well as any difficulties in breathing, which are very common in mesothelioma patients.

Alternative Treatments

Although controversial, some patients opt out of all the above listed treatments in favor of herbal or homeopathic treatments. Several supplements and extracts of herbs have been shown in small studies to reduce some of the symptoms of mesothelioma or side effects from medical treatments. Doctors recommend that most cancer treatments get their fully daily value of vitamins A, C, and E, so vitamins or supplements ensure that patients get the nutrition they need to remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Reference: Canada Updates