Mesothelioma Palliative Care
Palliative mesothelioma treatment aims to alleviate symptoms and side effects and improve quality life. These supportive treatments were traditionally used for hospice care for patients at the end of their life. However, they are becoming more useful for all patients.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is any kind of care that is provided to a patient suffering from a terminal or serious illness in order to improve their quality of life. It does not treat a specific disease. Instead, it addresses factors that impact symptoms and prioritizes personalized care. The treatment is tailored to the patients’ needs. All types of support care are included:
- Medical and physical care
- Pain management
- Side effects of cancer management
- Treatment side effects
- Spiritual, psychological, and social care
Although some strategies might overlap, palliative is different from other cancer treatments. Treatments that aren’t palliative have the goal to stop, slow down, or cure a disease. Patients with mesothelioma can benefit from both non-palliative and palliative treatment.
How Mesothelioma patients benefit from palliative care
Study results show that patients with malignant mesothelioma have a higher burden of symptoms, including shortness of breath and fatigue, chest pains, weight loss, nausea, and cough. They may also feel anxious, uncertain, and out of control.
- The primary purpose of palliative care is to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Palliative care may extend life expectancy. Research has shown that patients diagnosed with cancer who have access to palliative treatment early had better quality of lives and improvised survival rates.
- Palliation can be beneficial for your mental health. Palliation not only helps patients physically, but it also gives them more control over their lives. This improves mental health. Study results show that palliation can improve mental health markers like depression.
- Palliative care can help prevent or minimize complications. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma might experience complications that can affect their treatment and quality life. These complications can be caught early and prevented by good palliative care.
Palliative care used to be reserved for patients with advanced cancer. Research supports early palliative treatment, particularly for cancers with aggressive survival rates.
Palliative care may be offered in collaboration with medical and surgical oncology teams. This allows for patient-centered care. Palliation can be helpful early in the course of mesothelioma, which is a painful form of cancer.
Does Palliative Care Improve Prognosis?
A palliative care plan does not aim to prolong life. Palliation can prolong the life of patients, but it cannot reverse the fact that mesothelioma can be terminal. However, it can make patients feel better.
This is important as patients who feel healthier and happier can accept more aggressive treatments. They may live longer as a result.
What Mesothelioma patients are eligible for palliative care?
Many assume that palliative treatment is only for patients with advanced cancer. This is false. This does not mean you are dying, or in the latter stages. This simply means that you are seeking medical care that makes you feel better.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or any other severe or terminal illness, can benefit from palliative treatment. It may also help to avoid more aggressive and risky treatments.
Who provides palliative treatments?
Patients who choose palliative treatment usually work with a specialist.
If a team member is not available, the medical team can take a palliative approach to support the individual.
The actual medical procedures are performed by physicians. A palliative care specialist can also reach out to other caregivers in order to implement the plan.
- Specialists in pain
- Holistic care providers
- Physical therapists
- Spiritual leaders
- Practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine
What are the best places for palliative care?
Palliative care is provided wherever patients are treated: in hospitals, medical centers, cancer centres, specialist offices, doctor’s offices, and physician’s offices. Patients can also be treated at home. Hospice facilities provide palliative treatment.
Patients do not need to be in hospice care before palliative treatment can begin. Hospice can be provided at the patient’s home or in a hospital. Palliative care does not require enrollment into hospice.
Hospice is a special place where palliative care plays a vital role. It provides comfort, relief, and the highest quality of life possible for the patient’s final days.
What is Palliative Care like Hospice Care?
Although hospice and palliative care may be often referred to as one another, they are two different things. The most important difference is the life expectancy. Hospice care is for patients who are at the end of a serious illness. Usually, this takes less than one year.
Palliative care is offered to patients with terminal or severe illnesses. Patients’ life expectancies don’t factor into the equation. Hospice care can be provided in a hospice or at the patient’s residence.
Palliative Treatments of Pleural Mesothelioma
Patients with pleural melanoma have difficulty breathing and constant pain. There are many treatments available, including chemotherapy and surgery. can be used to relieve and palliate the condition.
- Thoracentesis. This involves the removal of fluid from the chest cavity. It is a common source of pain, discomfort, and difficulty breathing. This surgery is minimally invasive and uses a thin needle.
- Pleurodesis. A doctor might insert a tube to inject medicine to cause pleural fluid to stick to the chest wall.
- Pleurectomy/decortication. This surgery can be used to slow disease progression but also to palliate.
- Cancer Therapy. Treatment can be used to shrink tumors and may alleviate some symptoms. Side effects can be difficult to bear for patients.
- Radiation therapy. Focused on the chest tumor, radiation can shrink it and alleviate the pressure on surrounding tissues. This relieves pain. Radiation therapy is especially effective in relieving pain in small areas.
Palliative Treatments of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Many of the same strategies that are used to treat pleural mesothelioma can also be used to help the peritoneal patient. Paracentesis refers to the procedure of removing fluid from the abdomen.
Ascites is a buildup of fluid around the abdomen that can cause discomfort for patients with peritoneal conditions. This service may be offered by Specialists, who perform HIPEC (heated chemotherapy followed by debulking surgery). HIPEC is used to treat or slow down the progression of cancer. However, studies have shown that it can also improve quality of life by providing palliation services.
Palliative Treatments For Pericardial Mesothelioma
Because it is so close the heart, managing this rare form of mesothelioma can be difficult. Percardiocentisis a procedure that drains fluid from the heart. It can relieve pressure and pain.
Pericardiectomy is a surgical procedure that may be used to relieve the symptoms associated with this type mesothelioma. This involves the removal of pericardium surrounding the heart. It may relieve the pressure around the heart.
Mesothelioma Pain Management
Pain is a common symptom for any type mesothelioma. Palliative treatment should be focused on it. Although each type of mesothelioma can be treated with medical treatment, they are not always sufficient to relieve the pain. Pain management strategies and medications can reduce or make it easier to bear:
- There are many over-the-counter pain medication options, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Prescription opioids are available for moderate to severe pain or breakthrough.
- Injectable nerve blocks that block pain signals are used to treat it.
- Cervical cordotomy is a procedure that creates a permanent lesion in your spine. It has been proven to be beneficial for mesothelioma victims
Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Many complementary and alternative (CAM), practices have not been shown to be effective in treating cancer. C Am treatments can be used to manage symptoms and provide important palliative care.
MD Anderson Cancer Center studied 375 patients with cancer and found that acupuncture helped relieve fatigue, hot flashes and numbness.
Aromatherapy, massage therapy and herbal supplements are all possible CAM options. A CAM specialist may be assigned to patients as part of their palliative care team. Some CAM practices might help patients feel better while others may not work for them. However, most CAM practices are safe to use.
Palliative and Late-Stage Mesothelioma
Quality palliative care is beneficial for patients at all stages of mesothelioma. Palliation is especially important for patients in later stages of mesothelioma. This is because symptoms such as pain, difficulty breathing and fluid buildup can worsen and even become debilitating.
Late-stage cancers can be extremely painful, unpleasant, and scary. Treatments fail to slow down the growth of the disease. These patients require high-quality, thoughtful and effective palliative care. It should be the main focus of any treatment plan.
Are Palliative Care Options Right for You?
Talk to your doctor about palliative treatment if you have mesothelioma. Describe your symptoms and goals. These will be more effective in palliative care if you get to them sooner.
With less pain, you can live longer and enjoy more of the rest of your life. You may even live longer. You may even live longer if you are diagnosed with a terminal disease. Palliation is also an option. If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, consider palliative treatment.
Patients with mesothelioma need palliative care to improve their quality of life. This is a very serious disease that can be fatal and also cause severe pain. Palliative care may provide spiritual and psychological support as well as medical treatments to alleviate symptoms.