A New Treatment Option Eases the Pain of Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families

September 10, 2012  |  Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma patients are often faced with limited treatment options by the time they have exhibited symptoms and subsequently been diagnosed. In the last 15 years, medical researchers have been ardently searching for more effective treatment methods, resulting in several breakthroughs that have improved the expected survival rates associated with mesothelioma. Still, the rare and aggressive cancer remains one of the most difficult diseases to treat. Recently, much attention has been given to the advancements of immunotherapy and the improved effectiveness of traditional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  But, according to a new study from the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), mesothelioma patients will soon have improved access to palliative care as well.

Palliative treatment may be a less discussed treatment option, but it is essential to those affected by terminal diseases. This type of care focuses on alleviating the symptoms associated with the disease. Palliative treatments provide the patient a level of comfort that allows for them to enjoy the time they have with loved ones instead of remaining in a state of pain.

The CAPC reports that the number of hospitals in the U.S with palliative care teams increased for the 10th straight year. Palliative care is one of the fastest growing cancer treatments, increasing nearly 150 percent since 2000. The CAPC attributes the growth as a direct relation to the increase of Americans with chronic disease and 66 percent of hospitals in the U.S now house palliative care teams.

A Palliative care team can consist of nurses, physicians, social workers and well-trained chaplains. The team aids in both the physical and psychological care of the patient, and not only do they provide comfort to patients, but they improve the patient’s mood and quality of life.

Mesothelioma symptoms often to not show up in patients until the cancer has progressed into advanced stages. This is, in part, why the asbestos-related disease is so difficult to treat. The average survival rate for mesothelioma patients varies between 4 four and 18 months after diagnosis.

Many efforts are being made to catch the disease before symptoms arise. Although its still in clinical trials, a non-evasive, early detection technique has been created that would provide mesothelioma patients a broader range of options in the earlier stages of the disease. Also, asbestos awareness organizations are hard at work, educating those who have worked in traditionally high-risk occupations on what to look for and how to test for early development.

Baron and Budd has been fighting for those affected by mesothelioma for over 30 years. The firm is vehemently dedicated to the advancement of mesothelioma treatment and seeks to relay any pertinent developments in the mesothelioma community.

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