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Treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma will depend on a number of issues, your general health and fitness, the stage of your cancer and any additional medical conditions you may have.
As there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, treatment aims at controlling the condition and symptoms for as long as possible.
There are two treatment options currently available in the UK for mesothelioma:
It may be that a combination of the two is used however, this does depend on the stage of the cancer. Your medical team will discuss your treatment options with you and together you can devise a treatment plan.
In many cases, surgery is not an option in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma as it requires a major operation and patients are often not well enough to undergo this. However, if the patient is fit enough, surgical options are available:
Removal of part of the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen). The peritoneum is where the mesothelioma grows, removing it can reduce symptoms.
Similar to a peritonectomy, cytoreductive surgery can involve as many as 6 different peritonectomy procedures to remove as much of the mesothelioma as possible. Following these procedures, heated chemotherapy is given into the peritoneal cavity through a catheter, this is know as Hyperthermic Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIIC).
Chemotherapy aims to shrink the mesothelioma, reducing symptoms and prolonging life, it can also slow the growth of the mesothelioma. It is generally administered in cycles, anti-cancer drugs are injected into a vein of the patient to destroy the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often used together with surgery.
Chemotherapy can have side effects however everyone is different and everyone’s bodies react in different ways. Side effects include:
Your medical team will discuss whether chemotherapy is an option for you.
Unfortunately, it is often not until the cancer has reached an advanced stage that mesothelioma is diagnosed. In these circumstances, the patient may be too unwell to have any surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy however, treatment of the symptoms can still be given, such as draining fluid from the abdomen.
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