Mesothelioma is a well known, but rare form of cancer. It develops based on exposure to asbestos, where small, but sharp fibres are lodged in the lungs. Although this is a cancerous disease, if it is caught early enough, there are some ways to destroy many of the cancerous cells.

Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy

Radiotherapy targets the cells using x-rays that destroy the cells. Generally, the individual will need to go back for multiple treatments. Many people confuse this with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is when the patient will take a range of drugs that are designed to combat the cancerous cells. These might include Carboplatin Gemcitabine and Vinorelbine,

There are downsides to both. Sometimes radiotherapy can leave scars. For chemotherapy, the drugs can destroy healthy cells, which means the sufferer is much more likely to pick up infections and may be a victim of regular fatigue.


A popular treatment for mesothelioma is to have a biopsy, which is a surgical treatment. Generally, the surgery is only on a small part of the body, which means only a local anaesthetic is going to be needed.

Shortness of Breath

This is one of the most common symptoms for people that are suffering from mesothelioma. Fluid builds up on the chest area and basically blocks the flow of air to the lungs. There is a surgical procedure called pleurodesis which can be used to help. This will remove excess fluid from the chest so that the lungs are no longer constricted. Of course, in some cases, not all of the fluid can actually be removed.

A mesothelioma cancer will develop tumours. If they continue to grow, they can reduce the volume of the lungs. This reduction in volume will mean that the sufferer finds it hard to breath. There are surgical procedures to reduce the size of tumours and therefore, increase lung volume.


At times, mesothelioma can be an extremely painful cancer to have. The pains can vary to long term aches, to short term stabbing pains. Generally, the pain is going to be in the abdominal or chest area. Simple drugs such as ibuprofen can usually help with instant pain relief. For more severe cases, the doctors might prescribe regular doses of morphine rather than ibuprofen. The body can easily become accustomed to ibuprofen which is why it is not always suitable.


A mesothelioma will cough on a regular basis. The type of cough and severity will depend on the size of the tumour, the amount of fluid build up and the stage that the mesothelioma has actually got to. Codeine and pholcodine are usually the most suitable for those that have a dry cough (not caused by fluid build up). For those that are experiencing a wet cough, treatments such as carbocisteine are likely to be more suitable.

Funds For Treatments

If you are struggling for funds to pay for treatments, then it is worth speaking to someone in the NHS. Alternatively, if you think you are eligible for compensation due to asbestos exposure, then it might be worth speaking to a company that deals with mesothelioma claims.

Alex has been blog writing for over 6 years and during that time has written for a huge range of blogs throughout the internet. As well as writing for other blogs, he also runs his own. His favourite topics to blog about include the likes of the worldwide economy, health, fitness and sports.

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