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Mesothelioma: Tests, Diagnosis, and Treatments

Mesothelioma Treatments continued...

Surgery. The four main surgeries used in mesothelioma treatment are:

  • Wide local excision, which removes the cancer along with some of the healthy surrounding tissue.
  • Pleurectomy and decortication, in which the surgeon removes part of the covering of the lungs, chest lining, and outside surface of the lungs.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy, which involves removing one whole lung and part of the lining of the chest, the diaphragm, and lining of the sac around the heart.
  • Pleurodesis, which involves using chemical or drugs to make the lung lining scar and stick to the lung. The scarring stops the buildup of fluid.

Radiation Therapy. This type of cancer treatment uses high-energy X-rays and other types of radiation to kill mesothelioma cells or keep them from growing. Radiation may be administered externally or internally. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into the area near the mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Medications. Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of mesothelioma cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy can be given by mouth, injected into a vein or muscle to enter the bloodstream and reach mesothelioma cells throughout the body, or it can be placed directly into the affected area of the body to mainly affect mesothelioma cells in that area. Sometimes doctors use more than one chemotherapy drug. This is called combination chemotherapy.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on May 15, 2012

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