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Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Medical

We know the harmful effects that asbestos can have on people who have been exposed to it, breathing in the airborne fibers, and developing serious and likely fatal health ailments decades down the road.

Construction workers, machinists, firefighters, auto mechanics and power plant workers who often work with asbestos-related products may be more susceptible to asbestos-related illnesses. So can the typical family who may live in a house built before the 1980s as many such structures were made with asbestos-containing materials.

Infants: ‘Not likely to be exposed’

The treatment options for mesothelioma have remained pretty constant throughout the last decade. Because of the aggressive nature of the cancer and number of cases discovered each year, new treatments are difficult to test.

Currently, the best-known option for fighting this cancer is chemotherapy. Unfortunately, chemotherapy’s effectiveness is different for each person.

However, a new article in the Oncology Nurse Advisor explores the role of radiation therapy in treating mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a serious disease with far-reaching consequences. Treatments can be expensive and time-intensive.

There are options available to victims of mesothelioma, and your situation could warrant taking legal action.

An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you throughout the process, including:

A recent study by pharmaceutical company Merck’s Keytruda division published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that when doctors implement immunotherapy in concert with standard chemotherapy treatments, the rates of survival for lung cancer patients greatly increase. The study is particularly good news for mesothelioma and other lung cancer patients whose prognoses are often significantly worse since symptoms do not present themselves until the cancer has metastasized and spread to other vital organs.

Also known as pembrolizumab, Keytruda has already been prescribed for some time now to patients who have a type of malignant cancer called non-small cell lung cancer, the principal form of lung cancer and found most commonly in people who smoked cigarettes. Merck decided to expand the study of Keytruda by prescribing the drug to other lung cancer patients who were not obvious candidates for the benefits expected from the drug.

The results of the study show that when immunotherapy is introduced, the rates for death or having the cancer worsen are cut almost in half, an incredible feat that could help more than 70,000 lung cancer patients in the United States. Other studies that included immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy, developed by pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, have come out showing the benefits of immunotherapy for advanced lung cancer patients. Opdivo and Yervoy were found to be especially effective in patients with cancers that have gene flaws the drugs can exploit to help the immune system attack.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently convened an expert panel of doctors, researchers, and cancer advocacy experts to review medical literature on mesothelioma studies conducted from 1990 to 2017. The expert panel did so with special interest to survival, disease-free or recurrence-free survival, and quality of life using available evidence and informal consensus to develop evidence-based guideline recommendations on how best to treat pleural mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral once commonly used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications for its heat resistant properties. Mesothelioma can take decades to show symptoms and unfortunately, there is no cure for the cancer that can spread from the thin linings of tissue surrounding the lungs to other vital organs.

The expert panel identified a total of 222 studies from the 27-year time period and developed several evidence-based recommendations developed for diagnosis, staging, chemotherapy, surgical cytoreduction, radiation therapy, and multimodality therapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The expert panel used five guiding questions to help come up with their recommendations, including:

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis you might be considering treatment options available. For those interested in cutting edge and alternative treatment options, clinical trials might be a choice. Before signing up for a trial, it is important to understand the potential risks and benefits associated with clinical trials.

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials use human subjects to test new medicines and experimental treatment options in a structured and safe environment. The trials are a live setting way for scientists to test new technology, medicines or a combination of both. Clinical trials for mesothelioma patients test drug and other therapy approaches to see if certain therapy treatments are more effective than others. Trials can last for weeks, months or years depending on what is being tested. Often the trials are sponsored by a government agency, but pharmaceutical companies frequently fund clinical trials.

Mesothelioma does not affect only the patient: It can have a ripple effect through an entire family. It often falls to family members to care for their loved one who has been diagnosed with the disease. Caring for a family member who has mesothelioma requires immeasurable compassion, strength and patience.

As the relative of someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You may be wondering how you can even begin to care for your loved one in their time of need. Fortunately, there are several ways to help care for a family member who has mesothelioma.

1. Offer your support

Illinois-Asbestos-Attorney-Mesothelioma.jpgA recent study by the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University reveals disparities in the treatment given to elderly lung cancer patients, including those fighting mesothelioma and other deadly cancers. The study shows why it is so important for all mesothelioma patients, regardless of their demographic, to educate themselves and be proactive in their cancer treatment to improve their prognosis and maximize their survival term.

According to the study, which surveyed over 12,000 lung cancer patients at least 80 years old, African American patients were 20% less likely to receive chemotherapy and radiation to treat their condition. Furthermore, the research revealed that patients that lacked a high school education were 15% less likely to receive the same treatment as those with more education.

Another interesting trait uncovered in the study is that men are 40% more likely to receive chemotherapy and radiation treatment than women. The survival benefit associated with combination therapy persisted even after accounting for factors like age, sex, race, income, and individual tumor characteristics.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer that attacks tissues lining the lungs, heart or abdomen. Most people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives. Why is it so difficult to diagnose? Here are three major reasons that can help individuals and families understand why.

  • Rarity

Even though thousands of people are diagnosed each year, mesothelioma is still a rare form of cancer. Due to its rarity, many doctors are not familiar with the symptoms, which can lead to a misdiagnosis.

superstock_1098r6319_medium_6z03_100.jpgA recent study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology highlighted a promising treatment that could possibly extend the life expectancy for patients suffering from malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. According to the report, a large portion of patients in a studying undergoing two-stage cytoreduction and intraperitoneal chemotherapy regimen had a significantly longer lifespan thanks to the treatment.

The treatment worked by first putting the patient through cytoreductive surgery, a procedure that removes tumors from inside the abdominal wall of mesothelioma patients. After undergoing surgery, doctors treated the patients with intraperitoneal chemotherapy to help kill any mesothelioma tumors possible left over from the surgery.

Doctors then monitored patients with CT scans of the abdomen, chest, and pelvis every six months for signs of tumor growth. Patients with tumors received a second round of cytoreduction and intraperitoneal chemotherapy while those without tumors only received the chemotherapy portion of the treatment.

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