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All about mesothelioma cancer types of mesothelioma pleural mesothelioma peritoneal mesothelioma (abdominal mesothelioma) malignant mesothelioma causes of mesothelioma risk factors for mesothelioma asbestos exposure and mesothelioma asbestos mesothelioma asbestos poisoning asbestos complications reducing asbestos exposure mesothelioma survival rate mesothelioma symptoms mesothelioma diagnosis mesothelioma stages mesothelioma treatment treatment for malignant mesothelioma mesothelioma surgery chemotherapy for mesothelioma radiation therapy for mesothelioma prevention of malignant mesothelioma prognosis of malignant mesothelioma mesothelioma lawsuits mesothelioma attorney (lawyer)

Radiation therapy for mesothelioma

Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy). The radiation may come from a machine (external-beam radiation therapy) or from

materials (radioisotopes) that produce radiation. These materials are sealed into thin plastic tubes, needles, wires, or catheters and placed near to or into the tumor (internal radiation therapy). The radiation injures the cancer cells so they can no longer continue to divide or multiply. This results in a reduction in size of the affected tumor. Radiation is useful because mesothelioma is made up of rapid growing cells and radiation is most effective on cells that divide rapidly. A series of treatments is included in the course of treatment. With each treatment more cells die or are injured and therefore the tumor shrinks.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. External beam radiation therapy uses radiation delivered from outside the body that is focused on the cancer. This type of radiation therapy is often used to treat mesothelioma. These treatments are much like getting a diagnostic x-ray except for a longer time. Brachytherapy involves radioactive material being placed directly into the chest or the abdomen at the site of the mesothelioma. Radiation therapy is sometimes used as the main treatment of mesothelioma in some patients, especially those whose general health is too poor to undergo surgery. Adjuvant radiation therapy can be used in addition to surgery to kill small deposits of cancer that cannot be seen and removed during surgery. Palliative radiation therapy can also be used to ease symptoms of mesothelioma such as shortness of breath, pain, bleeding, and difficulty swallowing.

Using radiation therapy after surgery has not been shown to improve survival. However, because surgery is very unlikely to remove the entire tumor, radiation commonly is done after surgery in the hopes of killing remaining tumor cells. In addition, radiation therapy can be used to relieve the symptoms of mesothelioma, including chest pain. Radiation therapy affects only the area being treated, but it is not selective in its affects. Healthy cells as well as tumor cells in the treated area may be affected by this treatment. Most of the healthy cells injured begin to repair themselves hours after exposure and can recover from this treatment. However, the damage to the healthy cells is the reason for the side effects of radiation therapy. The side effects that occur during radiation therapy are manageable and should be openly discussed with the doctors and nurses providing care.

Side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue and mild skin changes that resemble a sunburn. Often these side effects are temporary. Radiation may also make the side effects of chemotherapy worse. Chest radiation therapy may cause lung damage and lead to difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. Abdominal radiation therapy may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you are having any of these side effects of radiation therapy, talk with your doctor since there are ways to help control these symptoms.

More information on mesothelioma cancer

What is mesothelioma cancer? - Mesothelioma (cancer of the mesothelium) is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order.
What types of mesothelioma are there? - Mesotheliomas consist of two general types-benign and malignant. Malignant mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor of the pleura.
What is pleural mesothelioma? - Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that make up the pleura or lining around the outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs.
What is peritoneal mesothelioma? - Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the abdominal lining, or peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a tumor of this membrane.
What is malignant mesothelioma? - Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum).
What causes mesothelioma? - Asbestos exposure is the main cause of mesothelioma. The chances of suffering from mesothelioma rise with the intensity and duration of exposure to asbestos.
What're the risk factors for mesothelioma? - The main risk factors for malignant mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Other risk factors include radiation, zeolite, tobacco, and SV40 Virus.
Who's at increased risk for developing mesothelioma? - Family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos and mesothelioma - Asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer are the three most frequent causes of death and disease among people with heavy asbestos exposure.
Where is asbestos found? - Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products. Exposure to asbestos can occur in home improvement and construction projects.
When is asbestos dangerous? - Asbestos is hazardous when it is friable. The most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body is through breathing.
How to reduce asbestos exposure? - Reducing exposure to asbestos by repairing damaged material will involve covering the material or sealing asbestos material.
What's the mesothelioma survival rate? - Mesothelioma is a serious disease. The average age at diagnosis is 50 to 70 years old. The average survival time is about one year.
What're the symptoms of mesothelioma? - Symptoms of mesothelioma include pain in the lower back or at the side of the chest, cough, fever, sweating, fatigue, and weight loss.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed? - Diagnosis of mesothelioma begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure.
How is mesothelioma staged? - Staging of mesothelioma is based on imaging studies such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. Malignant mesothelioma moves through four stages.
What's the treatment for mesothelioma? - Treatment for mesothelioma cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma.
Treatment of malignant mesothelioma by stage - Most patients with stage I mesothelioma have their cancer surgically removed by pleurectomy/decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy.
Surgery for mesothelioma - Surgery for malignant mesothelioma can be aimed at long-term control of the cancer (aggressive surgery) or relief of symptoms (palliative procedures).
Chemotherapy for mesothelioma - Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy may be put directly into the chest.
Radiation therapy for mesothelioma - Radiation is useful because mesothelioma is made up of rapid growing cells and radiation is most effective on cells that divide rapidly.
How to prevent malignant mesothelioma? - The risk of malignant mesothelioma can be reduced by avoiding getting exposed to asbestos.
What's the prognosis of malignant mesothelioma? - The survival time after diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is about one year. Prognosis for malignant mesothelioma depends on how early it is diagnosed.
What about the mesothelioma lawsuits? - Mesothelioma lawsuits are classified into two groups: personal injury, and wrongful death. Mesothelioma lawsuits usually seek compensation for medical costs.
Who is mesothelioma attorney (lawyer)? - The benefits of hiring a mesothelioma attorney are numerous. A mesothelioma lawyer is able to provide both advice and assistance.
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