Encyclopedia Home / M / Mesothelioma - malignant

Mesothelioma - malignant

  • Alternative Names

    Malignant mesothelioma


    Treatment

    Malignant mesothelioma is a difficult cancer to treat.

    There is usually no cure, unless the disease is found extremely early and the tumor can be completely removed with surgery. However, most of the time at diagnosis, the disease is too advanced for surgery. Chemotherapy or radiation may be used to reduce symptoms. Combining certain chemotherapy drugs may help decrease symptoms, but it will not cure the cancer.

    Untreated, the average malignant mesothelioma patient survives 9 months.

    Consider participating in a clinical trial (test of new treatments), which may give you more treatment options.

    Pain relief, oxygen, and other supportive treatments may also help relieve symptoms.


    Support Groups

    You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.

    See:

    • Cancer - support group
    • Lung disease - support group

    Expectations (prognosis)

    The average survival time varies from 4 - 18 months. However, your outlook depends on:

    • The stage of the tumor
    • Your age and general health
    • Whether surgery is an option
    • Your response to treatment

    Complications

    The tumor can quickly spread to other organs.


    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of malignant mesothelioma.