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If you have been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, contact Nurse Practitioner Lien Hua-Feng at 310-818-1304 or click below to make an appointment with mesothelioma specialist Dr. Robert B. Cameron and his team.
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Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that aims to eliminate mesothelioma cancer cells through chemical agents pumped into the body through a vein, bodily cavity, or sometimes in the form of a pill.
It is commonly recommended because mesothelioma is such an aggressive form of cancer, and many patients are not diagnosed until the cancer has grown and spread. Although it can be a frightening option, many patients treated through mesothelioma chemotherapy have experienced an improved prognosis.
Patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma are typically referred directly to an oncologist. The vast majority of oncologists are not surgical oncologists and, therefore, are only directly involved in the nonsurgical treatment of cancer.
In many cases, oncologists recommend starting a patient on chemotherapy before referring the patient for a consult with a thoracic surgeon to determine whether surgery is an option.
There are various types of chemotherapy drugs, so the type and method used will depend on your doctor’s specific recommendation. The goal is to stop cancer cells from growing and spreading in the patient’s body. Doctors often recommend a mesothelioma chemotherapy regimen for patients with asbestos cancer accompanied by other cancer-fighting drugs.
Common Chemotherapy Regimens
Every mesothelioma patient is different, which is why oncologists come up with treatment regimens depending on a variety of factors that are unique to each individual patient. Common regimens and programs include:
When the doctor opts to treat the patient with chemo alone.
The doctor decides to use chemotherapy in addition to another treatment or multiple other treatments.
The doctor uses chemotherapy to reduce the size of the patient’s tumor before operating on it.
The doctor uses chemotherapy treatment after tumor removal surgery to prevent the cancer cells from returning.
This type of method aims to lessen the impact of cancer symptoms.
Single-Agent Chemotherapy vs. Combination Chemotherapy
Just as there are a variety of methods, there are a variety of chemotherapy drugs oncologists can use. Sometimes, doctors choose to use just one type of chemotherapy medication like Alimta or Cisplatin while in other instances, the doctor might find it best to use a combination of chemotherapy drugs on a patient.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy has a variety of possible side effects that will differ per patient and differ depending on the type and method of chemotherapy treatment. The most common side effects include:
- Losing your hair
- Weakness and fatigue
- Decreased red blood cell count
- Weakened immune system
Of course, you want an honest and qualified assessment of your best options for long-term survival of MPM. Who is qualified to answer your questions?
The Pacific Meso Center:
Can answer all your questions.
Will make you aware of all your choices.
Will help explore your treatment options and assist you in finding the best treatment ‘Team’ for you.