In the effort to shrink tumors and/or prevent cancer recurrences, mesothelioma patients can receive radiation therapy before, after, or during surgery. On its own, radiation can alleviate pain as it typically carries fewer side-effects compared to chemotherapy. This treatment can be utilized during any stage of cancer.
How Does Radiation Therapy Treat Mesothelioma?
Preventing cancer cells from spreading to improve life expectancy is the main goal of radiation therapy. It is used by doctors either alone to manage symptoms as a palliative therapy or in combination with other treatments.
Oncologists have used radiation as a cancer treatment for decades, and advances in technology have made it an exceedingly refined treatment. With well-targeted radiation, cancer cells can be killed without triggering the serious side effects that typically accompany chemotherapy.
A study to review the outcomes for thousands of pleural mesothelioma patients was conducted by researchers at New York’s Icahn School of Medicine in 2016. Overall, the survival of patients who had received radiation therapy were nearly doubled at the two- and five-year marks – regardless of what additional treatments were used.
Throughout the different stages of mesothelioma, doctors can provide radiation therapy for numerous varying reasons.