Epithelioid mesothelioma treatment options can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and natural/alternative treatments. Your healthcare team will develop a treatment plan specifically for you. This therapeutic plan will be based on your health status and cancer-specific information.
You may be offered one or more of the following treatments for mesothelioma.
If you are able to go through surgery, here are the options available:
- For pleural mesothelioma:
The following types of curative surgery are used to treat pleural mesothelioma.
An extrapleural pneumonectomy: During this procedure, the parietal and visceral pleura, the lung on the side where the mesothelioma originated, a part of the diaphragm and the lymph nodes in the chest are removed. It is also possible to remove the envelope surrounding the heart (called the pericardium).
A pleurectomy/decortication: During this procedure, the parietal and visceral pleura and tumor are removed, but the lung is not removed.
Palliative surgeries are designed to relieve symptoms such as pain or difficulty breathing, they don’t remove the tumor. The following types of palliative surgery are used to treat pleural mesothelioma.
The most common one is tumor reduction, whereas much of the mesothelioma as possible is removed. Another common palliative surgery is thoracentesis, which is used to extract the fluid surrounding the lungs that hinder normal breathing.
The last palliative surgical option is pleurodesis, the parietal and visceral pleura are sealed together to prevent the accumulation of fluid between them.
In general, it is not possible to operate on people with peritoneal mesothelioma, as this cancer has usually spread too widely to be completely removed. Surgery is often used only to relieve symptoms caused by peritoneal mesothelioma. The only types of surgeries that can be proposed are palliatives like tumor reduction and paracentesis.