One of the most common types of therapies used to treat mesothelioma is radiation. This treatment is often used in combination with surgical procedures to remove cancerous tissue, along with chemotherapy.
What Radiation Involves
On the most basic level, radiation treatment involves directing radiation towards an area that is to be treated. By damaging the DNA of cancerous cells, radiation causes cancerous cells to either die or slow down greatly. There are two types of radiation therapy that are commonly used to treat mesothelioma:
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT). This is the primary type of radiation therapy used to treat mesothelioma. This process involves x-rays from a machine outside a person's body that are used to kill cancerous cells.
- Brachytherapy. For this type of radiation therapy, a radiation source is placed inside a person's body, close to or in the cancer. This procedure is used much less often to treat mesothelioma.
The Benefits (and Setbacks) of Using Radiation to Treat Mesothelioma
In many cases, radiation is an effective tool at relieving the symptoms associated with mesothelioma and can help to prevent the disease from spreading. When used in combination with other treatments, radiation often has the potential to increase a person's life expectancy.
Because radiation is a palliative tool, it is ultimately unable to cure the condition and it eventually turns out to be fatal. Some of the additional benefits offered by radiation therapy include:
- Radiation therapy is noninvasive, quick, and painless.
- Radiation is capable of shrinking large, painful tumors and can be an invaluable tool for prolonging the lives of late-stage patients.
- Used in combination with surgery, radiation is an effective tool at treating patients in the early stages of mesothelioma.
Similar to other mesothelioma treatments, there are a number of side effects of radiation therapy. One of the most commonly reported side effects of radiation therapy is nausea.
What to Expect from the Radiation Process
Many people are not certain what to expect from the radiation process. The radiation process tends to involve the following steps:
- During a first appointment, a patient will meet a physician who specializes in radiation to determine the best approach for your case.
- To make sure that radiation is applied in an accurate and safe manner, scans are performed to determine the exact location and size of the cancerous regions.
- A medical professional will inform you about what must be done before, during, and after treatment.
- During follow up appointments, a physician will inspect you for any side effects from radiation. Additional imaging will also be performed to determine the growth of cancerous areas.
A Compassionate Mesothelioma Lawyer Will Fight for You
The costs of treating mesothelioma can be particularly expensive. Fortunately, at the Throneberry Law Group, we are prepared to do what it takes to pursue full and fair compensation for medical expenses.
If your condition has left you unable to travel, our attorneys are prepared to come to you. Contact our law office today by calling 480-605-4967 or schedule a free initial consultation with us online.