Talc Pleurodesis Patients Need Alternate PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma

PET/CT scan for mesothelioma

Certain patients may get more benefit out of an alternate type of PET/CT scan for mesothelioma. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a common tool for diagnosing mesothelioma. It is also used to monitor the effectiveness of mesothelioma treatments. Doctors often combine PET with computed tomography (CT) for an even clearer picture of mesothelioma progression. Typically, a PET/CT scan for mesothelioma involves injection of a tracer called FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose). But it turns out that PET/CT scans with this tracer do not work well for all mesothelioma patients. A new Japanese study suggests that mesothelioma patients who have had a procedure called talc pleurodesis should consider a different kind of PET/CT scan instead. How Does Talc Pleurodesis Impact PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma? … Continue reading Talc Pleurodesis Patients Need Alternate PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma »

Palliative Care for Mesothelioma: Earlier is Not Necessarily Better

palliative care for mesothelioma

New research suggests that palliative care for mesothelioma may be most helpful in later stages of the disease. Scientists in the UK and Australia say there is no reason for most mesothelioma patients to be referred to a palliative care specialist when they are diagnosed. As long as patients have access to palliative care when they need it, early referral does not seem to make much difference in quality of life. What is Palliative Care for Mesothelioma? Palliative care for mesothelioma aims to manage the symptoms of the disease and the treatment. Chest pain and shortness of breath are common symptoms of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma treatment can cause fatigue, nausea, and weight loss. Physical symptoms can cause depression or anxiety, which … Continue reading Palliative Care for Mesothelioma: Earlier is Not Necessarily Better »

Shortness of Breath Treatment Can ‘Seed’ New Mesothelioma Tumors

mesothelioma tumors in lungs

Mesothelioma patients who get pleural catheters to help with shortness of breath may pay a high price. New research shows about a quarter of them will develop new mesothelioma tumors at the spot where the catheter was placed. In a newly published paper, Canadian researchers say doctors need to consider the possibility of these catheter tract metastases (CTMs) when advising mesothelioma patients. Indwelling Pleural Catheters and Mesothelioma Many mesothelioma patients develop excess fluid around their lungs. This fluid puts pressure on the lungs and makes it hard for patients to get a deep breath. Shortness of breath is a common symptom of pleural mesothelioma. Indwelling pleural catheters (IPCs) can help. An IPC is a little tube inserted into the pleural … Continue reading Shortness of Breath Treatment Can ‘Seed’ New Mesothelioma Tumors »

Pleural Mesothelioma Patients Feel Better with This Symptom Management Regimen

For mesothelioma patients with indwelling pleural catheters, new research suggests that draining them daily can improve their quality of life and may even resolve the problem faster than waiting until symptoms arise. Pleural effusions, a buildup of fluid between the layers of the pleural membrane surrounding the lungs, is a fact of life for patients with several types of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma. If not addressed, this fluid accumulation often leads to life-limiting side effects like chest pain, coughing, and breathlessness.   Managing Pleural Effusions from Malignant Mesothelioma There are surgical procedures aimed at preventing pleural effusions in mesothelioma patients and resolving symptoms by physically closing the spaces where fluid accumulates. Closing up the pleural space is known as pleurodesis. … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Patients Feel Better with This Symptom Management Regimen »

Plasma-Based Surgery May Be Safer Alternative for Some Mesothelioma Patients

A minimally-invasive surgical technique that uses plasma energy to destroy diseased pleural tissue may be a safer alternative for mesothelioma patients who would not otherwise be candidates for surgery. Doctors at Harefield Hospital in the UK are reporting good results and no serious side effects from using the PlasmaJet Surgical System to operate on a patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma. PlasmaJet uses the energy of ionized gas, called plasma, to dissect, vaporize, and seal fragile tissues through small incisions with no cutting. The UK team believes it may be a viable option for patients with advanced mesothelioma or those with other health problems that would make conventional surgery too risky. Mesothelioma Surgery Not for Every Patient Pleural mesothelioma grows on … Continue reading Plasma-Based Surgery May Be Safer Alternative for Some Mesothelioma Patients »

Life After Mesothelioma Can Still Be a Challenge

A new Japanese study has some sobering news for people hoping to survive malignant mesothelioma: Life after mesothelioma can still be challenging. The study was conducted by multiple centers across Japan. A total of 133 mesothelioma patients who had been free of disease for at least five years completed questionnaires about their experiences and their quality of life. Assessing the Lives of Mesothelioma Survivors To get a picture of what life is like for mesothelioma survivors, the study group sent a 64-question survey to hospitals and patient advocacy groups. Patients completed the questionnaire themselves and then returned it to the researchers by mail. The questions specifically about quality-of-life came from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and the … Continue reading Life After Mesothelioma Can Still Be a Challenge »

National Nutrition Month: The Role of Food in Mesothelioma Survival

Given the aggressive and treatment-resistant nature of malignant mesothelioma, it can be frustrating for patients to hear news about experimental therapies that may be decades away from clinical use. But patients are far from powerless, as the stories of mesothelioma survivors like Paul Kraus prove. At 20+ years post-diagnosis, Kraus is the longest-living mesothelioma survivor in the world and credits his longevity, in large measure, to dietary and lifestyle changes. During this year’s National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and DIetetics is reminding everyone of the power of nutrition to impact health and wellbeing. This year’s theme, “Go Further with Food”, is a fitting slogan for mesothelioma patients and those with other cancers. Nutrition and Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma … Continue reading National Nutrition Month: The Role of Food in Mesothelioma Survival »

Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy

New evidence suggests that a pulmonary rehabilitation program that comes to them might help patients recover after pleural mesothelioma treatment. Experts in pulmonary cancers at several French institutions recently published what they called a “real-life feasibility study” of home-based rehab in patients who had received chemotherapy for either lung cancer or malignant pleural mesothelioma. Previous research has shown that these patients are typically less physically active and experience a lower quality of life as a result of the cancer and/or the treatment. Managing Mesothelioma Rehabilitation at Home In the new French study, patients who had undergone chemotherapy for lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma were screened to see if they would be good candidates for a rehabilitation program offered in their … Continue reading Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy »

Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma

federal support for mesothelioma victims

A new report suggests that too many mesothelioma patients and their families may not be coping as well as they could be with the implications of their diagnosis. Italian researchers in environmental health, occupational disease, and psychology conducted extensive interviews with 10 mesothelioma patients and 9 of their caregivers. In a report in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the team concluded that families with malignant mesothelioma are often more focused on their symptoms than on how their illness will impact their lives and that of their loved ones. The Subjective Experience of Mesothelioma Although several national and international reports have emphasized the importance of managing the psychological and social implications of a mesothelioma diagnosis, the Italian researchers say not enough … Continue reading Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma »

Prophylactic Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Is it Worth It?

Should mesothelioma patients consider having radiotherapy as a way to keep their symptoms from coming back after surgery? A new study suggests that the answer is probably “no”. In an article published in the online medical journal PLoS One, researchers concluded that radiotherapy aimed at stopping the spread of pleural mesothelioma and delaying the return of symptoms may not not have much of an impact on quality of life for patients. That recently-released finding comes from data collected during the Surgical and Large Bore Procedures in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma and Radiotherapy (SMART) trial, a multicenter trial based in the UK. Evaluating Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma The purpose of the SMART trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of prophylactic radiotherapy started within … Continue reading Prophylactic Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Is it Worth It? »

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