Mesothelioma victims get the deadly cancer from asbestos contact. While peak exposure occurred during the 1970s, approximately 3,000 Americans are still diagnosed annually and thousands lose their lives each year to the incurable disease.
The five-year survival rate for mesothelioma patients stands at only 7-9 percent. The condition lingers in the body for lengthy periods and the average age of males diagnosed hovers around 75 years old. Women who are diagnosed are generally in their early 70s.
There is some cause for optimism due to a recent treatment that shows promise.
Dual treatment method could lead to acure
A study published in the International Journal of Hyperthermia in early 2018 outlines a how a combination of surgery and chemotherapy has gained success in treating peritoneal mesothelioma.
A combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) that involves heat has shown to be effective in combating tumor growth.
The U.K. researchers who analyzed more than nine years of information on 76 peritoneal mesothelioma cases have concluded that the dual process may be a significant step forward in a potential cure for the deadly condition.
This brand of asbestos-related cancer takes root in the abdominal lining called the peritoneum. It bears striking similarities to other types of asbestos-driven cancers and that adds to the good news coming from this research study.
How the mesothelioma treatment works
The first phase of the two-prong treatment involves cytoreductive surgery. This debulking surgery strategically removes the vast majority of the abdominal cancer. The goal is to extract all of the visible cancer in hopes that the heated chemotherapy can kill any remaining cells.
The hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy used in this treatment delivers a heated impact directly to the affected area. The idea is to hit cancer cells hard with as much direct contact as possible. The process has garnered its best results in low-grade cases of peritoneal mesothelioma and the study touts a high success rate.
An early diagnosis is helpful
More aggressive cancers have been a greater challenge, but life expectancy data shows marked improvement following the combined procedures. That’s why early diagnosis and access to treatment is critical for those harmed by asbestos contact.