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What to Know About Your Treatment Choices for Malignant Mesothelioma

Your treatment choices depend on your age, the stage of the cancer, and how much the cancer has affected your health. The goal of treatment is to control the cancer for as long as possible and to keep you comfortable.

It’s normal to want to learn all you can about this cancer and your treatment choices. You probably have many questions and concerns. Your doctor is the best person to answer your questions about your treatment, how successful it is expected to be, and what the risks and side effects may be. To help deal with the medical information and remember all of your questions, it is helpful to bring a family member or close friend with you to doctor's appointments. 

Treatment for malignant mesothelioma is local, systemic, or both. Local treatments wipe out the cancer cells in one area. Here are the main local treatments for malignant mesothelioma:

  • Surgery

  • Radiation

  • Chemotherapy that is put directly into the chest or stomach

Systemic treatments wipe out cancer cells all through the body. For example, chemotherapy you get through your veins is a systemic treatment.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to consider getting a second opinion before beginning treatment. In fact, some insurance companies require a second opinion for such diagnoses. According to the American Cancer Society, it is very rare that the time it will take to get a second opinion will have a negative impact on your treatment. The peace of mind a second opinion provides may be well worth the effort. 

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