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Does chemotherapy work to treat mesothelioma?

Because symptoms of mesothelioma may take many years to emerge, the disease can significantly progress before it's detected. For these advanced cases of mesothelioma, many people turn to chemotherapy for treatment. But, how effective is this method?

A treatment, not a cure

It's important to understand that pleural Mesothelioma cannot be cured. However, chemotherapy can be used to attack the cancer cells that would otherwise continue dividing and multiplying at a rapid rate.

This can improve a patient's quality of life by eliminating the pain and other side effects the disease would induce. Further, it prevents the disease from taking over the body, allowing patients to live months or even years longer.

Genotypes make a difference

One new study has found that a person's genotype, the genetic makeup of their cells, can impact how beneficial chemotherapy can be. That's because some people may have inherited mutations in their DNA that helps repair cells and suppress other tumors.

People with this mutation are much more likely to benefit from platinum chemotherapy, meaning they may be better able to plan for their life ahead while being treated.

The effects of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, often used to treat various cancers, essentially works by killing off cells. While this can rid the body of cancerous cells, it may also damage healthy cells and other positive immune processes in the body.

This can take quite the toll on a person, with possible results like:

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea and weight changes
  • Numbness, tingling and pain
  • Anemia
  • Infection
  • Impotency
  • Bladder changes
  • Kidney problems

Chemotherapy may also come with great monetary loss. The treatment can be expensive and keep patients from returning to work. To cover these expenses, you may be able to seek compensation from the party responsible for your exposure to asbestos.

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