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Palliative Treatment Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Palliative treatment Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Palliative treatment is a treatment option for cancer that does not cure the cancer but gets rid of the discomfort and pain associated with the cancer. Palliative treatment aims to manage pain and symptoms of cancer. The main goal of palliative treatment is to relieve pain, reduce symptoms and to improve the quality of a patient’s life. Palliative treatment is often for patients who are diagnosed with terminal cancer and who have a poor prognosis. Patients in cancer stages III or IV choose palliative treatment because there is no curative treatment options for them. The option for palliative treatment is dependent on the patient’s cancer staging, type of cancer diagnosed, age and overall health. Palliative treatment may not be a cure to cancer but it has the potential to prolong life expectancy for pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.

Most peritoneal mesothelioma patients do not qualify as candidates for surgery. However, treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma patients are there to reduce symptoms, pain and to improve the quality of life of the patient.

Palliative treatment Peritoneal Mesothelioma – Surgery

There are two surgery procedures that are used on peritoneal mesothelioma patients as palliative treatment:

  1. Paracentesis

This is the surgical process whereby a needle is inserted into the peritoneal cavity (i.e. the space that separates the abdominal cavity and the abdominal wall) to remove excess peritoneal fluid that has built up in the cavity. The process is done to alleviate pain associated with fluid buildup in the peritoneal cavity. Such pain may be abdominal pain or swelling, diarrhea or constipation, weight loss, nausea or vomiting etc.

Paracentesis removes the fluid and thus relieves pain and also reduces chances of future complications relating to the bowel, kidneys and other digestive system parts caused by the buildup of fluid in the peritoneal cavity.

  2.  Cytoreductive surgery

Cytoreductive surgery is also known as debulking surgery. This surgery is done where all of the tumor cannot be removed. Cytoreductive surgery is the surgical removal of part of a malignant tumor. It is used in conjunction with chemotherapy. Cytoreductive surgery enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy despite all the side effects associated with chemotherapy.

As a result of the side effects of chemotherapy the natural option would be radiation therapy, however, radiation is not typically used for peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

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