Mesothelioma Attorneys

Palliative Care for Mesothelioma Patients

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The importance of palliative care in mesothelioma cannot be overstated. Because most mesothelioma patients are not diagnosed until they have reached the stages where palliative care is the only treatment they can benefit from, many people misunderstand how it can help. Palliative care addresses the symptoms of mesothelioma. It improves your quality of life and can extend your life. Palliative care is an important part of treatment for all mesothelioma patients, not just those in the final stages.

Pain Management

Pain management is very important in mesothelioma treatment. Cancer, in general, is known to be painful. Mesothelioma is a particularly painful form of cancer. For those undergoing curative treatments, pain management can help with the pain caused by the treatments and it is necessary for the treatments to be effective. Uncontrolled pain diminishes the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

For those who are in the final stages of mesothelioma pain typically becomes progressively worse. Your doctor should not be resistant to increasing your pain medication as your pain increases. Pain management also involves other types of treatments which can include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Acupuncture

Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation may be used in combination with other pain management techniques to minimize mesothelioma pain.

Difficulty Breathing and Shortness of Breath

The fluid which accumulates in mesothelioma, and the tumors which form, can create pressure that makes breathing difficult. The fluid can be drained, and the tumors may be removed by surgery or destroyed or shrunken by chemotherapy or radiation. Future fluid build-up in the pleura can be prevented with a procedure called pleurodesis which involves the introduction of talc into the pleural space causing an adhesion.

Shortness of breath may also be caused or exacerbated by the stress and anxiety caused by mesothelioma and its treatments. Medication and relaxation techniques may be used to make breathing easier.

Digestive Problems, Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss

Mesothelioma and its treatments can cause loss of appetite, weight loss, and a number of digestive system problems including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation

Treatment may include medications and/or dietary changes. Maintaining a healthy weight and good nutrition are an important part of supporting your overall health while dealing with mesothelioma. Treating digestive system problems can significantly improve your quality of life with mesothelioma.