The most common treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy, which literally means treating an illness with chemicals. Because cancer cells reproduce much more quickly than healthy cells, chemotherapy involves administering drugs that attack rapidly reproducing cells. These drugs are intended to kill off the cancer cells, halting the growth and spread of cancerous tumors.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs often kill healthy cells that are meant to reproduce quickly, in addition to cancerous cells. This is the cause of most side effects associated with chemotherapy, such as hair loss, nausea, and a weakened immune system. If you or a loved one is facing chemotherapy for mesothelioma, you need a realistic image of what to expect and how to treat common side effects.
Important Facts about Mesothelioma Chemotherapy
If you are considering the option of chemotherapy for mesothelioma, or will be helping a family member through the process, you need to be fully informed about the treatment. Consult the following pages for a review of basic facts concerning:
- Chemotherapy Drugs: Oncologists use several different kinds of drugs to treat mesothelioma; the right one for you will depend on the progression of the disease and your body’s reaction to different drugs. Fortunately, new chemotherapy drugs are being developed every day with greater effectiveness and less severe side effects.
- Heated Chemotherapy: This is a relatively new treatment option for patients with peritoneal (abdominal) mesothelioma. This involves a procedure through which chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into the peritoneum, the portion of the mesothelium that lines the abdomen. Because it is a delicate procedure, it has not been approved for pleural or pericardial mesothelioma.
- Chemotherapy Side Effects: Chemotherapy is notorious among doctors and patients for its harsh side effects, such as nausea and lack of appetite. This is not a reason for patients to panic, however, as these symptoms can be managed in a variety of ways.
- Chemotherapy Diet: You may not always feel like eating during the course of treatment, but nutrition is a vital component of an effective cancer treatment. Researching recipes that are recommended for mesothelioma patients can help you remain strong and well-nourished.
- Dealing with Chemotherapy: While chemotherapy may be your best chance at beating mesothelioma, it can also be a draining process. It may help to try some strategies for dealing with the medical and emotional difficulties that chemotherapy can cause.
Living with chemotherapy is challenging, but it is not impossible. Patients are strongly encouraged to utilize all of the mesothelioma resources available to them and their families. Contact the mesothelioma attorneys of Williams Kherkher today with any questions you may have.