Mesothelioma & Radiation
Radiation is one of the most common treatments for mesothelioma. Radiation therapy is often used in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy to treat this devastating disease.What is Radiation?
Generally speaking, radiation therapy works by directing a source of radiation toward the treatment area. The radiation works to damage the DNA of the mesothelioma cells. This damage to the DNA is inherited by other cancer cells through cell division. This causes the mesothelioma cells to die or reproduce more slowly. DNA damage is inherited through cell division, accumulating damage to the mesothelioma cells, causing them to die or reproduce more slowly.
Mesothelioma patients may receive either external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy. The external beam radiation bombards radiation beams at tumors to kill the cancer cells. Brachytherapy for mesothelioma is a relatively new treatment and involves implanting tiny radioactive rods inside a tumor. This provides a strong, concentrated dose to the tumor while doing little damage to the surrounding healthy cells.Why Radiation is Given to Treat Mesothelioma
Some of the reasons why medical professionals use radiation to treat mesothelioma include:
- Increased survival rate: When radiation is used in combination with chemotherapy and surgery, the procedure can greatly help reduce that the chances that condition will recur. Many patients who use radiation therapy find their life spans increases by several years.
- Pain relief: Radiation helps to reduce the size of mesothelioma tumors, which in turn significantly reduces a patient’s level of pain and discomfort.
- Prevents Spreading: It is possible for surgical procedures to cause cancer cells to move to new locations in a person’s body, so radiation is used close to surgical sites to reduce the risk of the cancer spreading.
Many people are not certain what to expect when receiving radiation therapy. The following outlines the steps of the treatment process:
- Initial consultation: During an initial consultation, you will meet with an experienced medical provider who will discuss your best treatment options. Many times, you will be required to sign a consent form stating that you have been informed about radiation and understand the risks.
- Imaging: To make sure that radiation is performed safely, imaging scans will be conducted to determine the shape and location of the tumors.
- Treatment: A medical professional will explain what will happen before, during, and after treatment. Radiation will be applied at a fixed interval, which can range from once to several times a week.
- Follow-up appointment: During these sessions, your medical provider will examine you and conduct imaging scans to determine the effectiveness of radiation in providing treatment.
Although radiation treatment is no cure for mesothelioma, radiation does work to relieve the symptoms of tumor growth. It is helpful as a pain-relieving measure improving the patient's quality of life. The combination of treatments is successful in increasing the mesothelioma patient's life span while improving his or her quality of life.Aggressive Representation to Secure Medical Coverage
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