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 Mesothelioma Cancer

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PostSubject: Mesothelioma Cancer   Mesothelioma Cancer Icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2011 9:24 am

Mesothelioma Cancer


Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.

Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related
diseases. Although uncommon, mesothelioma cancer is no longer considered
rare. The primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to

Making a correct mesothelioma diagnosis is particularly difficult for
doctors because the disease often presents with symptoms that mimic
other common ailments. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, but
treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy have helped to improve the
typical mesothelioma prognosis.

Pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lung’s protective lining in the
chest cavity) represents about three quarters of all mesothelioma
incidence. Peritoneal and pericardial mesotheliomas, affecting the
abdominal and cardiac cavities comprise the remainder. Testicular
mesothelioma is extremely rare and is typically presents with metastases
of the peritoneal variety. There are three recognized mesothelioma
cell-types. Between 50 and 70% of all mesotheliomas are of the
epithelial variety. While prognosis is generally poor, these are
considered less aggressive than mesotheliomas of the sarcomatoid and
biphasic variety, which comprise the remainder of diagnoses
More Mesothelioma Cancer Information

The cavities within the body encompassing the chest, abdomen, and heart
are surround by a membrane of cells known as the mesothelium.
Mesothelial cells assist in general organ functions. The mesothelium is
particularly important to organs which are commonly in motion, such as
expansion or contraction of the lungs, stomach, or heart. Lubrication
from the mesothelial cells allows free range of motion within the body.
The mesothelium of the chest, abdomen, and cardiac cavity are called the
pleura, the peritoneum, and the pericardium, respectively. Each of
these groupings of mesothelial cells are extremely critical to the
functions of the body structures which they encompass.

Malignancies (cancerous tumors) occurring within the mesothelial
membranes are known as malignant mesothelioma, or simply mesothelioma.
Benign tumors of the mesothelium are known to occur, but are much rarer
than the more common mesothelioma cancer.

While tumors of the mesothelium were first recognized in the late 18th
century, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that this
particular cancer was studied and examined with more detail. It was at
this time where suspicions of the cancer’s causal relationship with
asbestos exposure became more substantiated. A joint study through the
Department of Thoracic Surgery at the University of the
Witswaterand/Johannesburg General Hospital in South Africa provided the
most compelling evidence of the nexus between asbestos exposure and the
development of pleural mesothelioma.

Topics in this Section
Mesothelioma Risk Factors

Asbestos exposure is the primary risk factor for mesothelioma. Others
include Radiation, Zeolite and SV40. Read more in this section.
Mesothelioma Causes

The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Learn more about
direct occupational exposure as well as second hand exposure.
Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma symptoms often mimic those of common respiratory ailments. Learn more about the signs and symptoms to be aware of.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Read about the diagnostic tests that doctors use to determine whether or
not a patient has mesothelioma including imaging scans and biopsies.
Mesothelioma Types

Pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial
mesothelioma are the most common types of mesothelioma. Learn more.
Mesothelioma Stages

Learn about the different staging systems that medical experts use find out how far mesothelioma cancer has spread.
Mesothelioma Prognosis

Learn about the various factors that determine what the prognosis is for individuals that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Information

This section provides a wealth of information about mesothelioma
including the disease itself, latency period, survival rates, prevention
and more

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PostSubject: Re: Mesothelioma Cancer   Mesothelioma Cancer Icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2011 9:25 am

Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma Treatment

Conventional treatments for mesothelioma involve surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

For your convenience, we have consolidated mesothelioma treatment
information for your review. This section is updated on a weekly basis.
You should keep in mind that if you choose one course of action for
mesothelioma treatment, you may preclude other courses. All of your
options should be considered as soon as possible.

Typical treatment strategies are often developed based on the stage
(using the Butchart staging system) of a pleural mesothelioma. Stage 1
mesothelioma can be treated with any number of different methods,
depending on the patient's health, including surgical resection of the
disease or more advanced procedures like extrapleural pnemonectomy and
lung pneumonectomy. Patients diagnosed with advanced-stage disease will
likely manage their disease and its symptoms through some combination of
chemotherapy, radiation therapy and alternative therapies.

Chemotherapy options include the FDA-approved combination of Alimta® and
Cisplatin, as well as other drugs which are currently in active
clinical trials. Other drugs showing positive results in trial include
Gemcitabine and Navelbine. Conjunctive treatments include the approach
which combines one conventional therapy with another such as surgery in
combination with chemotherapy. Multi-modal mesothelioma treatment
includes heated intra-operative chemotherapy which applies a potent dose
of chemotherapy to the surface of the actual affected area. For
mesothelioma patients, radiation is sometimes used in conjunction with
chemotherapy for optimal results.

Other experimental therapies for mesothelioma, although used much less
frequently, include gene therapy, immunotherapy and photodynamic
therapy. These therapies are still in their experimental stages.
Topics in this Section
Conventional Therapies

Conventional therapies for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Experimental Therapies

Several forms of mesothelioma treatment such gene therapy,
immunotherapy, photodynamic therapy and multimodality therapy are still
in their preliminary stages.
Alternative Treatments

These untraditional treatment approaches can complement conventional
therapies and allow the patient to be more at peace and comfortable
during this difficult time.
Treatment by Stage

This section lists typical treatment strategies based on the stage of the mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Doctors

Medical doctors who specialize in aggressively treating mesothelioma cancer state by state.
Mesothelioma Experts

Medical doctors with a longstanding expertise in treating malignant mesothelioma.
Clinical Trials

Information about current studies of promising new or experimental mesothelioma treatments.
Mesothelioma Clinics

Top Cancer Centers for mesothelioma treatment have been listed alphabetically by state for your convenience.
Ask Your Doctor

We have listed some questions that you might want to ask your doctor in this section.
Treatment Side Effects

While undergoing treatment for mesothelioma, you should be prepared for the following treatment side effects.
Caregiver Resources

Resources for family members and loved ones responsible for caring for mesothelioma patients.
Mesothelioma Research

Selected abstracts relating to malignant mesothelioma from PubMed, the National Library of Medicine's search service.
Mesothelioma Treatment Alerts

Articles regarding the most recent advances in mesothelioma treatment
that are helping to improve longevity and quality of life in patients.
More Mesothelioma Treatment Information

Choosing the right Mesothelioma doctor is an important first step in planning for treatment.

Some of the more notable mesothelioma doctors include Dr. David
Sugarbaker of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Valerie Rusch of
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Dr. Harvey Pass of the New
York University Medical Center Division of Thoracic Surgery. Each of
these oncologists have an acute knowledge of the behavior and pathology
of malignant mesothelioma and its treatments. It is likely that if you
are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will be referred by your personal
physician to a larger scale comprehensive cancer center like those
discussed here.

Mesothelioma treatment programs are featured at many of the country’s
leading cancer centers and comprehensive medical facilities.

Some of the most exciting and advanced mesothelioma treatment techniques
are being researched and explored through the International
Mesothelioma Program at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute's Harvard
University Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston under the auspices of
Dr. Sugarbaker. Multi-modal therapies, including combination therapies
including advanced surgical procedures in conjunction with chemotherapy
are some of the many exploratory therapies being researched at the IMP.
Exciting studies are also arising out of the University of Texas M.D.
Anderson Cancer Center and the University of California San Francisco
under the auspices of Dr. David Jablons.

Experimental mesothelioma treatments are explored through clinical and
surgical trials at many of the nation’s top cancer centers.

Information about current studies of promising new or experimental
mesothelioma treatments. Several clinical trials are actively recruiting
patients of malignant mesothelioma. Patients undergoing mesothelioma
treatment should strongly consider participating in a clinical trial.
Mesothelioma survival rate can be dramatically extended in those who are
treated with as-yet unapproved/experimental therapies. Given the lack
of a mesothelioma cure, participation in clinical trials among
mesothelioma patients is common. A patient's ability to participate in a
clinical trial will be dependent on a number of factors including age,
general health, and stage of disease at diagnosis.

As you deal with your cancer and the process of treatment, you need to
have honest, open discussions with your cancer care team. We have listed
some questions that you might want to ask in this section. We urge not
only patients undergoing mesothelioma treatment, but also family members
and loved ones to read this section carefully, and pursue answers not
only these questions but all mesothelioma treatment-related questions
with your oncologist or mesothelioma specialist.

Alternative therapies for mesothelioma can be used to ease side effects of traditional cancer treatment.

Many of those being treated for serious illness find comfort in
different alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture. These
untraditional methods of disease management can complement conventional
therapies and allow the patient to be more at peace and comfortable
during this difficult time. Meditation and Yoga are common methods used
by many to reach a state of relaxation, and release endorphins, our
body's natural pain relievers The majority of these treatments are based
upon patient preference but patients undergoing mesothelioma treatment
are encouraged to utilize one or many of these options, which can
dramatically improve patient stamina and strength while undergoing
treatment for mesothelioma. Nutritional supplements and other health
enhancers should also be considered by all patients undergoing
mesothelioma treatment, as the disease can deplete strength and general
immune health.

This section of our web site is updated frequently as we know how
important it is for those diagnosed with mesothelioma to be kept
informed about the latest mesothelioma research. We have also provided a
wide range of information specifically designed for caregivers and
loved ones. You can even find providers of cancer care related services
in your geographic area.


National Cancer Institute - Treatment Options for Malignant Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Cancer Progress

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