Mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer, often takes a silent toll on the lives of those affected. This disease, linked to asbestos exposure, can be a long and challenging battle. The journey to diagnosis and treatment is often hard.
In the world of cancer care, specialized devices play an important role in delivering treatments. One such device is the PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter). This is a lifeline for many cancer patients.
A recent study conducted in Italy shed light on the impact of PICC devices. They looked at the quality of life of patients battling pleural mesothelioma. The promising results suggest that these devices are making a positive difference.
Mesothelioma: A Rare but Aggressive Cancer
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer. It mostly affects the lining of the lungs but can also occur in the lining of the abdomen, heart, and testicles. This disease is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a material that was widely used in construction and insulation until its dangers were discovered. Unfortunately, mesothelioma can take many years to develop after exposure to asbestos. This makes it a challenging disease to diagnose and treat.
Patients with cancer often need special devices to receive their treatment. One such device is called a PICC. That stands for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter. A PICC is a long, thin tube that is inserted into a vein in the arm and threaded through to a larger vein near the heart. It is an important tool for delivering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other treatments directly into the bloodstream.
PICC Devices and Quality of Life
A recent study was conducted in the Hospital of Casale Monferrato and Alessandria in Italy. Researchers wanted to understand how the use of PICC devices impacts the quality of life of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma in the lungs. This area in Italy has a high incidence of asbestos-related diseases.
The study followed a group of 28 patients with pleural mesothelioma who were eligible for PICC insertion. The patients’ information was collected at different points in time: when the PICC was inserted, after 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months. The researchers used special surveys to gather this information.
Most of the patients in the study were receiving active cancer treatment. About 86% were receiving chemotherapy and 14% were also being treated with immunotherapy.
Almost none of the patients experienced any complications during the insertion of the PICC. This means that the procedure was generally successful and safe for these patients.
The patients’ perception of their health status and quality of life was measured on a scale from 1 to 7. It remained steady with an average score of 5 throughout the evaluation period. This suggests that the use of PICC did not significantly impact their overall well-being.
The researchers also looked at the patients’ emotional health. The total anxiety and depression scores for most patients remained within the normal range (0–7). This showed that the use of PICC did not cause significant emotional distress.
This study highlights the important role of dedicated nurses in safely placing and managing PICC devices for cancer patients. It also provides encouraging evidence that using a PICC does not negatively affect the quality of life for patients with pleural mesothelioma.
Bolgeo T, Di Matteo R, Crivellari S, et al. Quality of life in patients with PICC diagnosed with mesothelioma: Results of a multicenter epidemiological survey (LifePICC) [published online ahead of print, 2023 Oct 24]. J Vasc Access. 2023;11297298231202046. doi:10.1177/11297298231202046. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37873988/