Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs, and can be called malignant pleural mesothelioma. The disease can also affect the lining of the stomach and when it does it is known as peritoneal mesothelioma.
Both diseases are almost always caused by exposure to asbestos and unfortunately can prove fatal for some sufferers. Prognosis in this disease is difficult to assess as there are differences in the symptoms that each patient will present with, as well as varying rates that each patient's disease will progress. Many patients will be told that the average survival for someone with the disease can be as short as a few months to 12-18 months. These are averages and it must be stressed that each patient and their particular condition is very different and individual.
Unfortunately the damage done by asbestos cannot be reversed and it has been said that the disease is one of the most difficult diseases that doctors, patients and their families have to face. There are a number of points that doctors have to consider when deciding about the treatment of mesothelioma. These include type of cells involved in the disease, extent of the disease and the physical condition of the patient.
Regrettably treatment of the disease is not often successful. Surgery has been carried out in some cases (especially abroad) but this is not carried out on a large scale in Scotland and unfortunately it is not every patient that is fit for this major and aggressive procedure. Radiotherapy can be given to patients who have had chest drains and biopsies taken to reduce the risk of spread of the disease from these sites and also in some cases to relieve pain. This type of treatment must not be seen as an attempt to cure the disease.
Another treatment that patients ask about is chemotherapy. At the moment there is no one chemotherapy drug that can be said to regress the condition and in some instances chemotherapy is only tried in clinical trials. Patients have the opportunity to talk over their concerns about treatment with their doctor, who will explain the reasons for and against certain treatments. He/she is the best person to seek advice from another surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, as well as medication and any other issues.
Clydebank Asbestos Group are here to help you and your family - please contact us on 0141 951 1008 or fill in our contact form below and we will contact you.