Mesothelioma Chemotherapy: Can stop or slow the growth of mesothelioma
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drugs to eradicate cancerous cells. Chemotherapy drugs work by disrupting the growth of the cancer cells.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer of the mesothelium which is the thin membrane that covers the lungs, stomach, and heart. Asbestos exposure is the prime cause of mesothelioma. Those at a risk of developing this deadly cancer are people who have worked / working in asbestos mines or in close vicinity to asbestos mines, people who have been in the construction industry, persons in the ship building / breaking industry, clutch and brake manufacturing workers / mechanics, and everyone who has been exposed to asbestos fibers are at high risk of developing mesothelioma.
Chemotherapy can be used to control the growth of mesothelioma and reduce symptoms and give better quality life. Chemotherapy can extend survival of some people with mesothelioma. However, chemotherapy cannot cure mesothelioma. Different combinations of chemotherapy drugs which is also called chemotherapy regimens are used to treat mesothelioma. However, the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treating mesothelioma is still being researched.
Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Drugs
Mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs are used for treating cancer. It is a systematic method used for treating cancer. There are two methods for administering these treatments to the patients. They are known as intravenously or intramuscularly. In this method, the medicines are directly injected into the blood stream. This is the most effective method because the medicine travels to all the parts of the body and completely destroys the cancerous cells present in the body.
In some cases, it is not possible for conducting a surgery on the patient suffering for mesothelioma and in such case the chemotherapy is the only treatment used for treatment. There are various types of chemotherapy treatment used for treating this type of cancer such as adjuvant therapy or primary treatment. The final decision is taken by the doctor based on several factors such as stage and type of mesothelimo cancer, the individual is suffering from.
Chemotherapy drugs that can be effective in treating mesothelioma include pemetrexed (Alimta), cisplatin, carboplatin, mitomycin C, vinorelbine (Navelbine), raltitrexed (Tomudex), vinblastine (Velbe), doxorubicin and gemcitabine (Gemzar). Most used combination of drugs is penetrated (Alimta), which is combined with cisplatin.
Another combination of drugs used is cisplatin and gemcitabine. Another option of drugs includes cisplatin with carboplatin, methotrexate with vincristine, cisplatin with doxorubicin, cisplatin with vinblastine and mitomycin.
All the drugs above can be given alone in people who may not be able to tolerate two drugs.
Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Side Effects
Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells but also damage some normal cells which cause some side effects which include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, memory loss, loss of appetite and mouth as well as throat sores. Chemotherapy can also damage blood producing cells which result in low blood cell count. This results in an increased risk of infection. Your doctor needs to pay careful attention to avoiding or minimizing side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effects that you feel during treatment. Most of side effects related to treatment will disappear once treatment is over.