Chemotherapy Mesothelioma - For individuals opting for chemotherapy mesothelioma is one treatment plan among several other programs. Chemotherapy attacks cancerous tumors clinging to the mesothelial lining of the lungs that formed because of asbestos exposure and inhalation of tiny asbestos fibers. Sometimes chemotherapy is employed to reduce the size of tumors in order to perform surgery ( a process referred to as “neo-adjuvant therapy”) or eradicate cancerous cells which are still evident after surgery. Chemotherapy is also used in conjunction with immunotherapy or radiation therapy to enhance either treatment process.
Frequently, more than one chemotherapy medication is administered to someone suffering from mesothelioma. This type of treatment is called combination therapy and involves specific drugs only given in combination with certain other drugs. Once such group of drugs given as a group are Alimta, gemcitabine and cisplatin. However, a recent drug has been discovered and approved for use in chemotherapy for patients with mesothelioma that is proving to be extremely promising. Called Pemetrexed, this anti-carcinogenic drug acts by inhibiting proteins necessary for gene synthesis. Without DNA synthesis, cancerous cells cannot mutate and reproduce. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s website, doctors are primarily using these drugs as chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma: Pemetrexed and Cisplatin; Pemetrexed and Carboplatin; Gemcitabine and Cisplatin and Vinorelbine as a single treatment.
Unfortunately, unwanted side effects exist for those involved in chemotherapy. While anti-cancer medication is effective in destroying carcinogenic tumors and cellular deposits, healthy cells are usually affected by the strong drugs, causing symptoms of chemotherapy such as hair loss, continuous nausea, sore throat, fatigue, weak or aching muscles and digestive issues. Side effects of chemotherapy usually stop after drugs are no longer being taken. However, relief from these unwanted symptoms may take several days to several weeks, depending on the person’s overall health and extent of cancer progression.