Malignant mesothelioma has proven to be one of the most challenging forms of cancer to treat. Though researchers in the United States and around the globe have dedicated themselves to understanding all of the disease’s mechanisms, they continue to be frustrated in their efforts, and mesothelioma continues to claim the lives of thousands of asbestos exposure victims each year. But despite the grim long-term prognosis that accompanies mesothelioma, many of the treatments and protocols that have been developed in the last several years are offering patients periods of remission, giving them the opportunity to live longer than before, and with a higher quality of life.
If you are a mesothelioma patient or have been diagnosed with any asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible for compensation from the $30 billion asbestos trust funds or by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. For information on the funds that are available, contact us today. We will send you a free Financial Compensation Packet filled with valuable information, including how a mesothelioma lawyer can help you get the money that you deserve.
What is Remission?
Remission is the goal of all cancer treatment. It is the absence of any sign of the cancer remaining. No matter what type of cancer a patient is being treated for, there are two types of remission that physicians recognize. One is complete remission, which is the total elimination of any symptoms or signs of cancer in the patient’s body. The other is partial remission, which represents over half of the patient’s symptoms and signs of cancer being eliminated. The American Cancer Society has indicated that the time period by which remission is measured is a minimum of one month. Though there is no way to predict exactly how lung such a remission will last into the future, when a mesothelioma patient’s cancerous tumors have shrunk as a result of treatment for a minimum of 30 days, the patient is said to be in remission.
Mesothelioma Cancer Treatments
There are a number of protocols that oncologists can use in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma, and many of them can lead to remission. Some of these treatments represent the standard protocols being offered in mesothelioma treatment centers in the United States and around the world, while others represent cutting edge research and new combinations of therapies that are being offered through clinical trials.
- Surgery – Surgical removal of malignant mesothelioma tumors offers the possibility of remission. It is also used to provide relief from discomfort for those seeking palliative treatment and a better quality of life. The appropriateness of surgery is dependent upon the individual patient factors, including how much their tumors have spread, what their overall health is, and what other modalities the surgery may be combined with.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that kill fast-growing cancer cells. There is currently only one chemotherapeutic drug combination that has been approved for use in mesothelioma, though other forms of chemotherapy are being used in clinical trials. Chemotherapy is frequently combined with surgery to kill any cancerous cells that are left behind following removal of the tumor.
- Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy is used to help shrink the size of cancerous tumors. Though it is rarely effective in treating malignant mesothelioma by itself, when combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy it can raise the possibility of remission.
- Clinical Trials – There are numerous novel combinations of therapies, medications and state-of-the-art technologies that are being tested in studies around the world. Some of these are testing newly developed drugs; others are using new technologies such as immunotherapy or gene therapy to see whether those will provide longer periods of remission for malignant mesothelioma patients. The research that is done in clinical trials is helpful, even when the patients do not go into remission, as it is just as valuable to learn what does not work as it is to determine what does.
Understanding Mesothelioma Remission and Relapse
Unfortunately, because mesothelioma is considered a fatal condition, those patients who successfully achieve remission are reminded that they are likely to relapse and that their symptoms and cancer will reappear. In order to ensure that remission lasts as long as possible, they are urged to remain alert for the return of symptoms, to report any discomfort or concerns to their doctor, and to continue all medical treatments and medications as ordered by their physicians. Each day that a mesothelioma patient lives in remission is to be considered a victory over this rare and deadly form of cancer.
Resources and Information for Mesothelioma Patients
In addition to innovative medical treatments, mesothelioma patients have valuable resources available to them in the form of compensation from the asbestos companies. To learn more about the asbestos bankruptcy trusts and about your eligibility to file a claim against them, or to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact us at 1-800-706-5606.