After you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer you may be referred to another physician for a second opinion or for treatment. Further more there are other physicians that have a back-up role. People are usually quite confused by the number of specialists that treat or offer any service for the treatment of mesothelioma cancer. It is important to have a general idea of the many physicians you may encounter.
It is also important to choose the physicians that can best treat your illness. Not all oncologists (physicians that treat cancer) may have the adequate experience to treat mesothelioma. Remember that your type of cancer is quite rare.
There are also various treatment centers that can treat cancer. However it is important to choose the centre that best suits your needs. A specialized treatment centre may be very effective in treating various types of cancer but this may not necessary mean that cancer treatment is adequate to treat mesothelioma. You have to find a treatment that is specialized in treating your particular type of cancer.
The type of treatment available depends on the cancer's location, the stages of the disease, the age of the patient and the general health of the patient. Treatment for mesothelioma includes the following:
- Chemotherapy - The use of drugs in order to kill cancerous cells
- Radiation therapy - The use of high energy rays to kill cancerous cells
- Surgery - The removal of cancer and other tissues by surgery
- Clinical Trials - Research studies
- New approaches
- Alternative medicine
- Palliative care- Treatment for the symptoms of the cancer
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are called the standard treatment and a combination of these is usually used. A clinical study is research used for the sake of evaluating a certain treatment. It usually involves a different approach from that of standard treatment. Not all patients qualify for every type of treatment. Therefore it is important to know what type of treatment do you qualify to and what does each procedure entails. It is also important to learn what the side effects are since they vary from procedure to procedure and may be quite severe. Further more, sometimes by following a certain procedure; you may limit your eligibility to follow other procedures. Therefore it is important to be well informed. Sometimes mesothelioma may be in an advanced state or the patient may be very old and treatment options may be quite limited because of the severity of certain treatments. Therefore it may be more appropriate to alleviate the symptoms and not try to cure the disease (palliative care).