Which Forms of Mesothelioma Receive Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy can be used as a treatment for certain forms and stages of mesothelioma, primarily pleural mesothelioma and sometimes peritoneal mesothelioma. However, its use depends on various factors, including the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and the treatment plan recommended by the medical team.

  1. Pleural Mesothelioma: This type affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and is the most common form of mesothelioma. Radiation therapy might be used in different ways for pleural mesothelioma:
    • Adjuvant Therapy: Radiation might be used after surgery (as adjuvant therapy) to target any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.
    • Palliative Therapy: In cases where surgery is not an option or for advanced-stage cancer, radiation can be used to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life by shrinking tumors and reducing pain.
  2. Peritoneal Mesothelioma: This form affects the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). Radiation therapy is less commonly used as a primary treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma. However, in certain situations, it might be employed:
    • After Surgery: Radiation may be used postoperatively to target any remaining cancer cells and reduce the chances of recurrence.
    • Palliative Care: Similar to pleural mesothelioma, radiation can be used to manage symptoms, such as reducing tumor size to relieve pain or other discomfort.

It’s important to note that while radiation therapy can be beneficial in certain cases, its use and effectiveness depend on the specific circumstances of each patient. Mesothelioma treatment often involves a combination of therapies, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and sometimes emerging treatments like immunotherapy or targeted therapy. The treatment plan is usually personalized based on the stage of the disease, the patient’s overall health, and other individual factors. Patients should discuss with their healthcare team to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for their specific condition.

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