Mesothelioma Treatments

Mesothelioma Cure

While there no cure for this particular form of cancer, current research is moving in directions that may ultimately result in a cure for this aggressive disease. In the meantime, increasingly modern and effective treatments are enabling mesothelioma patients to better manage their condition and live longer, more active lives.

It has long been known that the majority of mesothelioma cases are the result of exposure to asbestos fibers. When inhaled into the lungs, these needle-like fibers burrow their way into the soft tissue of the alveoli, or air sacs. Over a period of years, the fibers work their way through the lung tissue, emerging on the outside and into the lubricated layer between the lung surface and the inner chest wall - known as the mesothelium.

Treatment Options

The primary problem in treating mesothelioma is that symptoms do not typically arise until the cancer has already reached the advanced stages of development, which can take anywhere between 20 and 50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos occurred. In cases such as these, treatments to combat the disease are usually designed to relieve symptoms and any pain the patient may be feeling.

Fortunately, a blood test called Mesomark has recently been developed in Japan and is being made available in the U.S. "for humanitarian purposes only." This particular test makes it possible for oncologists to detect the biological markers for mesothelioma in its earliest stages, which is when surgical techniques are far more likely to eliminate the disease.

Surviving Mesothelioma

Over the past decade, increasing numbers of mesothelioma patients have been learning how to manage their disease and live much longer than doctors had believed possible. Australian mesothelioma survivor Paul Kraus, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1996 at age 52, is nearing 65 years old and is in remarkably good health. Although he still has the disease, the mesothelioma tumor has not progressed since his initial diagnosis.

Kraus attributes his survival to a strict, nutrient-dense vegetarian diet, vitamin supplements, exercise, hyper-oxygenation, prayer and meditation. His health-promoting regimen is shared by other mesothelioma survivors as well, such as Rhio O'Connor and numerous others who have posted their stories on the World Wide Web.

At present, the most effective way to manage and live with mesothelioma appears to lie in taking a multi-pronged approach. Looking at the ways in which Paul Kraus has managed his own disease reveals that oxygen definitely plays a part in inhibiting the spread of malignant tumors. He undergoes treatments in which ozone, a form of oxygen with three atoms instead of two, is injected into his blood. The results support evidence that indicates that cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygen-rich environment.

New Drug Therapies

A recent article in Medical News Today reports that Dr. Stephen Cantrell of Brentwood, Tennessee, has developed a new treatment that uses a cholesterol lowering medication in combination with interferon, a protein used by the body's immune system. Interferon activates killer cells and macrophages, which under normal circumstances inhibit the replication of viruses.

Since cancer cells are simply those that reproduce in an uncontrolled fashion, this approach appears logical. The problem with using immunotherapy when it comes to treating cancer lies in the nature of cancer cells and how the immune system works. The body's immune system is a layered defense that is programmed to attack cells that are "foreign." These "foreign" cells are called pathogens.

Cancer cells are not foreign pathogens; therefore, antibodies do not "see" them. What researchers have been trying to do is "train" the body's immune system to attack cancer cells as if they were a viral or bacterial disease. While the effectiveness of Dr. Cantrell's therapy is still in question, early results suggest that he may be on the right track. Only time will tell if Dr. Cantrell's "Neo-Plas" regiment is truly a potential cure.

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