We know that mesothelioma causes a host of health issues unrelated to its cancerous tumors. As a mesothelioma patient, you’re likely also living with a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, not to mention physical symptoms of your illness including pain, shortness of breath, chest pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, and cough.
While there may not be a way to cure these side effects, palliative care can help reduce the extent to which they impact your daily life and make you uncomfortable.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a sector of medicine that’s aimed at reducing the unwanted side effects from serious illnesses, improving your quality of life, and boosting your mental health and wellbeing.
Many of our clients who are working with oncologists also seek out palliative care to treat the difficult above mentioned side effects of mesothelioma that up to 92% of mesothelioma patients report experiencing.
What Type of Healthcare Professionals Provide Palliative Care?
Your palliative care team will include a variety of different types of medical professionals, such as:
- Pain management physicians
- Holistic care providers
- Physical Therapists
- Spiritual Leaders
What Palliative Treatment Options Are Available for Mesothelioma Patients?
The type of mesothelioma that you have will dictate which palliative care measures will be most beneficial for you.
Generally speaking, patients with Pleural mesothelioma can live improved lives when they have:
- Thoracentesis, which is a surgery to remove excess fluid in the chest cavity. This fluid build-up is often a source of pain and shortness of breath.
- Pleurodesis, which is done to prevent fluid build-up from occurring again. With this procedure, a doctor injects a tube so that medicine can prevent the pleural tissue from adhering to the patient’s chest wall.
- Pleurectomy/decortication, which is a surgery that may help slow mesothelioma progression.
- Chemotherapy to shrink tumor size, which can result in some symptom relief.
- Radiation to shrink tumor size, specifically to reduce the amount of pressure and pain they place on surrounding tissues and organs.
If you have peritoneal mesothelioma, other palliative treatment options may be beneficial. These include:
- Paracentesis, to remove fluid from the abdomen.
- Chemotherapy, to provide a reduction in symptoms.
- HIPEC, which is a debulking surgery that is performed after heated chemotherapy to improve quality of life.
If you have pericardial mesothelioma, your palliative care options may include:
- Pericardiocentesis, a surgery that helps relieve pain and discomfort by removing fluid around the heart.
- Chemotherapy to reduce a number of symptoms.
- Pericardiectomy, which is a surgery that can help reduce pressure around the heart by removing the pericardium tissue.
Pain Management Option for Mesothelioma
In addition to the procedures listed above, other pain management options are provided with palliative care. These include:
- Over-the-counter pain medications.
- Prescription opioids for pain that is moderate, severe, or breaks through.
- Nerve block injections to block pain signals.
- Cervical cordotomy, a procedure that has shown benefits to mesothelioma patients and involves creating a permanent lesion in the spine.
Reach Out to Your Doctor for a Referral Today
While we’re busy fighting your mesothelioma lawsuit, we want to encourage you to reach out to your doctor for a referral to palliative care. We want to see you enjoying your life with your loved ones and feeling the best you possibly can.