Mesothelioma Photodynamic Therapy
The cancer mesothelioma is generally treated with chemotherapy and radiation, but new treatments have been introduced in recent years. One of these is photodynamic therapy, an innovative treatment based on the fact that cancer cells are more sensitive to photosensitizing (increasing sensitivity to light) drugs. Photodynamic therapy can be an effective way to kill cancer cells, often with minimal side effects.
How Photodynamic Therapy Works
If you and your doctor decide that photodynamic mesothelioma therapy treatment is right for you, you will first be given intravenous photosensitizing drugs over a period of one to three days. This period is necessary to make sure the drugs have sufficient time to travel through your bloodstream and be absorbed by cancerous cells. The process works because cancerous cells absorb these drugs more quickly, and hold onto them for longer than healthy cells.
Once the drugs have been administered, the next step is to simply shine light with a certain wavelength over the targeted cancer cells. Thanks to the photosensitizing drugs, these cells will react strongly to the light, releasing a kind of oxygen that will spread to nearby cancer cells. This oxygen kills cancer cells both directly and by damaging the blood vessels that supply them with nutrients.
The primary side effect of photodynamic mesothelioma therapy is an increased sensitivity to light that may last a month or more. During this period, you will need to carefully protect your eyes and skin from exposure to sunlight or other bright lights. This can be a frustrating requirement, but it is only temporary.
Who Is a Candidate?
Photodynamic therapy is only recommended in certain cases. It is not effective for treating cancer that has spread throughout the body, as it cannot be administered in multiple or extensive locations. It also works most effectively on cancer cells that are near the surface of the skin; this can include certain kinds of lung cancer and some cases of pleural mesothelioma.
This type of treatment can have temporary side effects such as nausea, shortness of breath, and pain in the treated area. As a result, it is usually recommended for patients who are otherwise strong enough to handle such symptoms. If you are concerned about potential side effects of any mesothelioma treatment, be sure to ask your doctor about ways to cope with them.
Contact the asbestos attorneys of Williams Kherkher in order to discuss your legal options if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure.