Mesothelioma Cancer: Treatments You Should Avoid

In one sentence scientifically unproven, unconventional and alternative mesothelioma cancer treatments should be avoided.

Mesothelioma Cancer is anyway known for being diagnosed very late.

There may be limited time in hand, for the victim to start and respond to the treatment.

Therefore rather than experimenting with unorthodox treatment mesothelioma cancer victim should consult a standard mesothelioma cancer specialist and take a second opinion if need be from another specialist.

But avoid visiting experts who make claims of having cured and treated mesothelioma patients with their newfound approach.

mesothelioma-CancerHow much ever convincing they sound but if they do not adhere to a regular scientific research and  cannot produce scientific data to prove effectiveness of their treatment, they should be steered clear of.

Treatment Advice For Mesothelioma Cancer

Make sure before the treatment starts whether the treatment the doctor has decided to give you is standard or unconventional.

It has also been observed that sometimes these unconventional treatments have a positive emotional effect on a patient and has no side effects that can come in the way of the proven, standard treatment that is being given to the patient.

In such a case even doctors don’t disapprove of complementary treatments.

But to encourage such unorthodox treatments in isolation can be very dangerous.

Such types of treatments may have helped a certain mesothelioma cancer victim but the same cannot necessarily apply as a rule.

Testimonials of one or two patients should not be taken as a success proof for this type of therapy.

It may not work for everyone.

A victim or relatives of the patient must remember that if such treatments do not have anything to show in terms of scientific research it is safest to avoid them.

Victim opting for this kind of treatment should also remember that approach of unconventional treatments differs from standard treatments.

They may have evolved from two different schools of thoughts! Therefore to switch treatment at the 11th hour may not be as easy, and can complicate the case further.

Mesothelioma cancer is a life threatening disease, usually diagnosed very late.

Therefore it becomes all the important that the treatment starts at the earliest. And the victim gets the best and proven treatment available.

Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms

Early symptoms of Mesothelioma Cancer are:

  • Chest pain and hoarseness
  • Recurring infection like bronchitis and cough that won’t get cured in spite of taking medicines
  • Breathlessness
  • Swelling and pain around abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness or numbness in limbs
  • Jaundice
  • Bones ache
  • Building of fluid around lungs
  • Rise in body temperature (fever), to name a few.
  1. Do you know Mesothelioma cancer can take 30-50 years to surface after being exposed to asbestos?
  2. Do you know only 15% cases of Mesothelioma Cancer are diagnosed on time?

When all Mesothelioma cancer stages are taken into account, the 5-year survival rate is just about 14%.

It is noteworthy that Mesothelioma cancer is generally diagnosed incidentally.

While patients are getting various tests done for some unrelated ailment, Mesothelioma cancer is diagnosed.

Some people suffering from Mesothelioma cancer also suffer from too much perspiration; they experience trouble swallowing and tiredness.

Mesothelioma Cancer affects the respiratory system and accumulation of fluid between the chest cavity and lung lining.

Under such circumstances the doctors generally suggests X-ray or CT Scan of lungs and abdomen.

It takes pathological examination to diagnose Mesothelioma cancer.

Tissue is removed from around lungs or abdomen (the affected area), and is studied under the microscope, and the then pathologist makes a definitive diagnosis before issuing a pathology report.

Following tests like Thoracoscopy, Peritoneoscopy and Biopsy may be performed before issuing the medical report.

Early detection of the disease, prompt action and early medication can sometimes cure Mesothelioma Cancer or push the complications further.

Some Shocking Facts About Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma Cancer is a rare type of cancer which affects the membrane that protects and covers various internal organs of our body.

The most common form of mesothelioma cancer affects the membrane that lines the lungs.

Second form of mesothelioma cancer affects the membrane that lines the stomach and the membrane lining the heart.

As many as 70 percent of people suffer from mesothelioma cancer because of exposure to asbestos at some point of time in their lives.

Exposure to asbestos for even one or two months at a stretch can sometimes result in Mesothelioma Cancer.

The bad news is that Mesothelioma Cancer cannot be detected until late in life.

Sometimes symptoms cannot be noticed till 30 or 50 years after being exposed to asbestos!

This is because of the long latency period of asbestos disease. By the time the disease is diagnosed, the cancer has already started to grow and spread rapidly.

Controlling the speed at which it is growing is sometimes next to impossible and the complications are life threatening.

People who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma Cancer are individuals who have worked where they inhaled (breathed) asbestos.

Some cases have also been found where people have been exposed to asbestos in a residential environment, unknowingly.

Other Than Asbestos What Else Can Cause Mesothelioma Cancer?

It is known that exposure to asbestos is the main risk factor behind contracting mesothelioma cancer.

When a person comes in constant of asbestos in the form of particles or fiber in workplace or otherwise he or she is likely to suffer from mesothelioma cancer at a later stage.

This type of cancer is not detected until very late in life. Sometimes the gap between exposure to asbestos and diagnose is almost 40 years.

Asbestos particles are not visible to the naked eye.

Some cases have also been found where a person who comes in contact with indirectly also has shown mesothelioma symptoms.

For example; mesothelioma cancer can also affect someone washing clothes of a family member who is working in asbestos polluted environment.

This is about asbestos. There are several other factors, which have been seen as cause of mesothelioma.

1- Mesothelioma Cancer Due To Tobacco: Tobacco is not a direct cause of mesothelioma cancer but it has been confirmed by the researchers that asbestos and tobacco are a deadly combination.

And it increases the risk of one contracting lung cancer to a great extent.

Smokers who come in contact with asbestos in their workplace have a chance of suffering lung cancer 70% more than that of other people.

2- Mesothelioma Cancer Due To Zonolite: This risk factor first came into light when Mesothelioma Cancer was diagnosed in the people of Turkey.

On further research it was confirmed that this silicate mineral, Zonolite was related to asbestos.

It was found in the soil in certain regions of Turkey. Zonolite is chemically related to asbestos.

3- Mesothelioma Cancer Due To Radiation: A material called Thorostat, which was earlier used in taking X-rays for patients, for a certain period of time, was a cause of cancer.

Once it was reported that Thorotrast was the cause of pleural and peritoneal mesotheliomas its use was banned.

Diagnosing the Stages of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma staging as it’s commonly called, is a process to find out how far has the cancer spread in the body of victim.

This process is performed immediately after mesothelioma cancer is confirmed.

And after the stage of mesothelioma is confirmed doctors or specialists prescribe treatment and medication.

The stage of mesothelioma is confirmed by performing various tests and scans like CT Scan, MRI, X-Rays etc.

Butchart Systems and TNM Systems are two ways in which the stage of mesothelioma is confirmed.

While Butchart is an old system, it is still used by many specialists, TNM is newly developed system by International Mesothelioma Interest Group and has been adopted by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).

Stage wise description of both the systems is given in the details to follow.

According to Butchart System:

1- Stage I is Mesothelioma is found present on only one side of the chest and has not started growing into the chest wall yet.

2- Stage II is Mesothelioma has attacked chest wall and food passage (i.e. esophagus) and heart to an extent.

The second stage also confirms that the cancer is infected the pleura on the other side of the chest. Possibility of infection in the lymph nodes in chest may be there.

3- Stage III Mesothelioma has penetrated through the diaphragm into the abdominal cavity lining (peritoneum), or has invaded the lymph nodes beyond the chest.

4- Stage IV Mesothelioma cancer has spread to other organs through blood streams. It is the most critical stage.

Due to long latency period mesothelioma cancer is often diagnosed in 3rd or 4th stage.

TNM System:

Here, T- Stands for Tumor Size of tumor and how far it is infected.

N refers to lymph Nodes and how far they have been attacked and M stands for metastasis (how far has it affected distant organs through blood stream)

Information about the tumor, lymph nodes, and metastasis is combined in a process called stage grouping to assign a stage of mesothelioma cancer.

It is considered more accurate that Butchart system and therefore preferred over Butchart system by many leading institutes.

Based on Tumor’s size, lymph nodes and metastasis, the TNM diagnosis is made.

  • State I: Is when mesothelioma cancer has affected right or left pleura lining the chest.

Not yet reached lymph Nodes an only a few spots can be identified in the outer lining of the lung.

  • Stage II: The right or left pleura lining the chest and has spread from the lining of the chest into the lung itself or the outer lining of the lung or the diaphragm.
  • Stage III is when Mesothelioma has infected either the right or left pleura lining the chest and has spread into the first layer or single place in the chest wall, outer covering layer of heart, lymph nodes in the same side of chest, or lastly fatty part of the mediastinum.
  • Stage IV is when mesothelioma cancer has affected right or left pleura lining the chest and has attacked, ribs, chest or muscle. Infected through the diaphragm into esophagus, trachea, thymus and blood vessels.

Spine, heart or nerves leading the arms, lymph nodes outside that side of the chest lymph nodes outside that side of the chest are also affected.

Thus which stage is mesothelioma in, can be found by adopting any of the above systems. And medication can begin likewise.

Importance of Exercise and Nutrition Before Starting Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment

Before starting mesothelioma cancer treatment, it’s very important for the patient to be as healthy as possible so that she/he is in a better position to receive and respond to the treatment.

A good diet combined with exercises can improve & uplift health, mood and strength of the patient.

Healthy Nutrition and Exercise improves physical and emotional well being of a patient to a great extent.

An expert can best work out a good Diet and Exercise Plan for mesothelioma cancer patient.

Their diet and workout charts will not look like ours and therefore its best left to a professional or specialist to advise the patient.

We as friends or family members should reduce our roles to encouraging the patient to stick to the routine suggested by doctor so that he can build better strength to cope with the disease and treatment.

The above two things, i.e. diet and exercise plan depend upon various factors like, the stage of mesothelioma cancer, the kind of treatment the patients wants to go in for.

Factors like age, gender, other medical complications and allergies, previous medical record of the patient will have an important role to play.

The diet chart for mesothelioma cancer patients may have no resemblance with a diet recommended for a healthy person.

Again the diet will depend upon the factors like age of the patient and stage of cancer.

What suits one may not be good for the other. Therefore it is best left of nutrition or diet specialist to do the job.

Remember wrong advice can cost and cause loss of life.
Mesothelioma cancer patients are normally suggested diet that includes intake of higher protein and calorie content.

A cancer patient may be asked to add more eggs, cheese and whole milk, additional sauces, gravies and salad dressings to the diet.

Likewise changing the cooking method may also be recommended. Adding more margarine, oil and butter may be advised.

Items with high fiber may be discourages as it can aggravate treatment-related side effects like sore mouth or diarrhea.

Such revisions are made in the diet program because it helps the patient to build strength to fight the disease and treatment better.

Researchers have observed that antioxidants such as carotenoids and beta carotene in foods may act as a protective shield.

American Cancer Society suggests 4-5 meals containing fruits, whole grains rather than processed gains, sugar and veggies.

Limited intake of red and fatty meat. NO salt-cured food. No Pickles or smoked food items.

Cancer patients need more protein therefore include lean meat, fish, and low fat dairy products in diet.

It has been observed time and again by a panel of experts that exercises like short walks or as recommended by qualified professionals result in improving strength of muscle, result in reducing fatigue, anxiety and stress.

Other Study for Mesothelioma Cancer

Another study showed that with the help of exercise patient’s survival times could be improved by bolstering his/her immune system.

Again before preparing a workout or exercise plan for mesothelioma cancer patient, it is necessary to consider the age, stage and other medical complications of the patient.

Complementary therapies like meditation, massage & relaxation techniques can be used in combination with the conventional medical treatments.

In some cases it improves physical and emotional strength of a patient dramatically.

Research Organizations working on alternate or complimentary therapies may have different views but it’s been observed in many real life situations that these alternative treatments help the patient in improving the quality of life during a very stressed phase of life.

Which may be least important for some while most important for others.

Food & Nutrition For Mesothelioma Cancer Patients

For Mesothelioma cancer patients who are taking the treatment must follow their nutritionist advisor’s diet regime strictly.

They need to take the food and nutrition related advice very sincerely and do as being told.

Cancer diets revolve around eating correct amounts of protein and calories along with drinking the prescribed amount of water.

Water constitutes an important part of diet for a mesothelioma cancer patient because it helps to keeps the body energized and replenished.

The body requires plenty of regular healthy nutrition that can be produced only by taking the right kind of food besides the medication prescribed by doctor.

While a patient is undergoing chemo he/she is on medication to fight the side effects, but healthy diet has an important role to play.

Therefore it is of utmost importance that mesothelioma cancer patient continues to eat well even if medication and supplement courses are on.

The dietitians keeping in mind the condition of mesothelioma cancer patient prescribe special kinds of diets for them.

The cancer patients are so worried over their condition that it often results in loss of appetite.

Worrying about their condition is one cause; the other cause is that when a person is undergoing treatment they don’t feel like eating.

The taste in their mouth is haywire. Plus the feeling of throwing back or nausea after eating leaves them restless.

It is likely and common among mesothelioma cancer patients that treatment processes like Chemotherapy, or even some other specific medication that the patient may be undergoing, may cause disorder or imbalance of nutrition that should be brought to order for the body to be able to fight against losing weight.

Because if the patient starts to lose weight than the immunity gets adversely affected and once immunity starts to drop things deteriorate.

Fats should also form an essential part of the mesothelioma cancer diet as fats provide and generate the necessary energy the body it needs while undergoing treatment.

Mesothelioma cancer patient’s age, stage of cancer and weight should decide the amount of fats that he/she needs to take to strike the right balance that indirectly helps to build a strong immune system.

Again as per National Cancer Institute foods like sugar, butter, cheese, milk, honey and dried fruits are high on fats and therefore should be included while making a diet chart.

Similarly a mesothelioma cancer patient should go high on protein in the diet. Protein should form an important part of his routine diet.

Protein helps repair tissues that get damaged due to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

Apart from it Protein helps to maintain strong and healthy immune system.

A healthy immune system is good news as it reduces the risk of catching infections that cancer patient is likely to fact after the treatments and therapies.

Protein Diet for Mesothelioma Cancer

Even the National Cancer Institute recommends including and increasing protein in the diet of mesothelioma cancer patient.

Foods that is high on protein and act as healers include yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream, eggs, nuts, fish meat and peanut butter.

Encourage cancer patient to drink water as much as possible or as prescribed by the doctor. Water is an essential part of the cancer diet.

Without a substantial intake of water, the body is likely to start drying or experience dehydration.

It is of immense importance that anyone undergoing cancer treatment receives enough water to keep his or her bodies hydrated, energized and replenished.

Cancer diet charts for each patient are different. Even different stages o cancer in the same patient call for a changed diet plan.

If a person is showing improvement after treatment the diet will change and similarly if the case is adverse, diet chart will undergo a change.

One should never get into making a diet plan for him as dietician’s approval in making a cancer diet plan plays a very important role.

Choosing Mesothelioma Cancer Doctor: Asking The Right Questions

Before choosing Mesothelioma cancer doctor victim or patient should ask her the following questions:

1- Does the Mesothelioma cancer doctor teh victime is planning to take, have experience in treating Mesothelioma patients?

2- How long has he/she been practicing and dealing with Mesothelioma Cancer cases?

3- Does the shortlisted Mesothelioma cancer doctor keep updated on the latest discoveries and developments in her specialized field? i.e. Mesothelioma cancer.

4- Does he have adequate experience & qualification to handle the case in hand competently?

5- Does Mesothelioma cancer doctor the victime wants to choose have a competent team of specialists to assist him/her?

6- Does he patiently explain everything that the victime wants to know? Does he listen to his patients? Does he show concern for them?

While choosing a Mesothelioma Cancer Surgeon the victime must make sure he is a certified surgeon.

Find out whether he is associated with medical specialty society like The American College of Surgeons.

How often does he perform Mesothelioma Cancer Surgeries?

Its very important that the Mesothelioma Cancer Surgeon you select explains the surgical procedure to the patient in detail. Will he?

Remember a competent doctor will never feel threatened that the patient would like to seek a second opinion.

Make sure victime’s family feels comfortable with this Mesothelioma cancer doctor.

He should be easy to approach and communicate clearly with. Mesothelioma cancer doctor should be a specialist in his field. Competent, qualified and well equipped in terms of a team of doctors, specialists and super specialists.

Since the situation demands utmost care, a good doctor should be able to provide it.

Why Do Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Hire Mesothelioma Lawyer?

We all know that mesothelioma cancer results from exposure to asbestos. If people have been exposed to asbestos either in the work place or residential locations knowingly or unknowingly, can contract Mesothelioma Cancer.

It mostly affects people in the workplace.  This disease may cost you a fortune  in cash and kind.

Life is a big price to pay for working in an environment polluted with asbestos.

Mesothelioma Cancer Victim hires a Mesothelioma lawyer to fight against the injustice of contracting mesothelioma in the workplace due to his/her employer’s negligence.

Mesothelioma Lawyer helps the victim to prove to the court that the cause of mesothelioma was unsafe workplace practices and operations.

According to Wall Street Journal if mesothelioma cancer case goes to trial the average award can go up to $6 million.

This was claimed in 2001. We are at the doorstep of 2018!

Mesothelioma Laws have been formed to protect the rights of the victim.

If the Mesothelioma Lawyer – the victim has hired, can prove to the court that exposure of asbestos was at workplace, he/she can receive compensation from employer.

Mesothelioma law has a provision that helps victim receive compensated by the makers and distributors of asbestos.

It is true that hiring a mesothelioma lawyer is not a cure for mesothelioma and your suffering.

Will ensure that the expensive treatment and medication’s financial burden doesn’t have to be borne by your family and friends.

Also It can be the last saving grace for the victim.

While a victim hires a mesothelioma lawyer he/she has to make sure that he/she remembers the details of the place or area where she/he was exposed to asbestos, the location, work profile, time period etc.

People lately have become very conscious and fight the case with the help a professional lawyer rather than taking their employers casual attitude towards something as life threatening as mesothelioma cancer lying down.

Is Mesothelioma Cancer Difficult To Diagnose?

Yes, Mesothelioma Cancer is very difficult to diagnose.

Diagnosing mesothelioma cancer is difficult because its symptoms are quite similar to those of a number of other cancer conditions or types of cancer.

Mesothelioma can be of two types.

Pleural and Peritoneal mesothelioma. While pleural grows in the tissues that cover lungs, peritoneal type grows in tissue lining the inside of stomach.

Further Mesothelioma is divided  into three categories according to cell types.

Its based on how cells look under a microscope.

Again these cancerous cells are divided into four types. Small.

Clear, Acinar and Tubulopapillary cells.

With so many types of cancerous cells involved, it makes mesothelioma cancer diagnoses very difficult.

Any of the so many types of cancerous cells can result into mesothelioma cancer.

Further sometimes some type of cells that cause mesothelioma are very similar to cells that cause lung cancer.

This sometimes puts the pathologist in a very critical position- to confirm whether the cells they see are Lung Cancer cells, Sarcoma Cancer Cells or mesothelioma cancer cells!

Scientists and researches working on mesothelioma cancer are trying to develop a tumor marker.

Tumor marker is a certain type of chemical released by cancer cells. It can be found and  identified in the blood during blood test.

The researchers are trying to discover a marker that mesothelioma cells release.

Once it is confirmed, what type of chemical release is associated with mesothelioma, diagnosing the disease will become very simple, Which will in turn help the victim a great deal. Treatments will start that much faster.

Mesothelioma Cancer: How Do We Come In Contact With Asbestos

At some point of time all of us have come in contact of asbestos. Asbestos in the air we inhale and the water we consider drinkable.

There is a possibility that we come in contact with asbestos in the form of natural deposits in the earth, and from the deterioration of products made of asbestos in the environment around us.

This was considered normal and unthreatening. Substantial exposure for a length of time mostly results in one becoming a victim of mesothelioma cancer due to asbestos exposure.

Later on a few cases came into focus where it was found that family members of people working in asbestos environment were also showing signs of mesothelioma cancer.

It was discovered that these members came in contact with asbestos from the hair, skin and clothes of their family member who went to work in asbestos atmosphere.

In early 1800 asbestos was commercially used in North America and its use increased many folds during World War II when ships were being manufactured and supplied in ample.

There was a time when  asbestos was used in manufacturing of approximately 5000 products.

Its was used in construction, automotive and manufacturing industries etc.

As time went by people who came in contact with asbestos started to show symptoms.

In the late 1970s, the Consumer Products Safety Commission banned the use of asbestos in wallboard patching compounds.

Then again in 1989 all new use of asbestos was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, but uses sanctioned and established prior to 1989 continued as it is.

Needless to mention that the use of asbestos has come down to a great extent because of awareness but surprisingly it is still imported, used and continues being a threat for the people who are even slightly or indirectly part of that environment.

Mesothelioma cancer cases have begun to drop.

All efforts are on to discourage its use in even mildest form but a calamity like World Trade 9/11 disaster has affected a lot of people who were around during that time.

They were exposed to gas/air filled with carcinogenic asbestos particles. Such conditions are unpredictable and beyond one’s control.

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