Is There Hope for A Cure for Mesothelioma?
For decades, simply hearing the word “cancer” has been a source of fear and anxiety for many, especially those with either a family history of cancer, or those who have been exposed to cancer-causing agents, such as asbestos. It’s completely understandable, given that historically a diagnosis of cancer carried such dire consequences. Fortunately, in the modern era of science and medicine, researchers and doctors have made great strides in both prevention and treatment of many forms of cancer. This also provides much needed hope to those who suffer from forms of cancer, such as mesothelioma, which are currently considered incurable. But even if mesothelioma currently cannot be cured, is there hope for a cure in the future? And just as importantly, are there treatments that can improve the quality of life for those suffering from mesothelioma?
What Is Mesothelioma, and Why Do We Need to Worry About It?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer usually found in the lining of the lungs, although on occasion it appears in other parts of the body. The disease is most often linked to long-term exposure to asbestos. Many people believe, wrongly, that because the dangers of asbestos are now clear and well-known, mesothelioma won’t be a problem in the future. While it is true that the use of asbestos has been limited in a number of industries, it still has not been banned in the United States or Oregon. Thus, there are those who are still exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. Moreover, because it takes years to develop mesothelioma, there are many people who have been exposed to the mineral in the distant past, who are only now showing signs of illness.
Traditional Treatments for Mesothelioma
Traditionally, the tools available to doctors included surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The success of these treatments can vary widely, depending on a number of circumstances, including the stage of the cancer. Moreover, doctors continue to innovate with combinations of these three alternatives, along with evolving forms of surgery.
New Treatments and Hope for a Cure
Researchers around the world are working to improve the range of prevention and treatment options available for mesothelioma patients. Following are some interesting examples.
- Japanese researchers have developed a blood test which can identify mesothelioma earlier. This is important because mesothelioma is often not discovered until a late stage, which makes treatment less effective. While this is not a cure, it allows earlier intervention and treatment, which increases the chances of a successful result.
- Researchers in the Netherlands are testing a treatment in which cells can be trained to attack a patient’s cancer.
- Novacure is experimenting with the use of electric fields to kill cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying.
These are just a few of many avenues being explored or tested in the search for a cure, or at least improved treatment of mesothelioma. A variety of new drugs are also being tested. Of course, it is impossible to identify which studies and trials may be successful, and which will not. What is heartening is that researchers around the world now share the common goal of treating and curing this onerous form of cancer. This should give us all hope.
Call with Your Questions
If you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma, please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have concerning your legal rights. Sadly, many people are now suffering from mesothelioma as the result of the negligent or intentional acts of others. The only way to protect society is to take steps to hold these wrongdoers accountable for their inappropriate conduct. At Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, our experienced mesothelioma lawyers take pride in helping to hold all of society to a standard designed to protect us all, and will be happy to speak with you.