New Treatment Available for Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is a particularly tragic form of mesothelioma. Typically attributed to asbestos exposure, pleural mesothelioma is a fatal disease with an average life expectancy of 18 months from the time of diagnosis. Luckily, a new treatment for pleural mesothelioma has emerged that may provide some relief for patients. When suffering from pleural mesothelioma, there is often fluid buildup in the lung’s lining, which can cause significant respiratory difficulties. The new treatment, called talc pleurodesis, provides a more efficient means of removing this buildup associated with pleural mesothelioma than other more commonly used procedures.
What is Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is almost always the result of exposure to asbestos. It is the most common type of mesothelioma and accounts for around 75 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses. In fact, between 2 to 10 percent of those people who have been exposed to asbestos are eventually diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. This type of cancer forms in the pleura, which is the soft internal tissue that surrounds the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma typically presents itself as a persistent cough that is accompanied by a shortness of breath. Some sufferers do not present any symptoms whatsoever. This form of cancer is particularly scary because it can take between 20 and 50 years following asbestos exposure before the latent cancer forms and presents itself. Thus, sufferers are usually older when they are diagnosed.
Talc Pleurodesis Procedure
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Partial Pleurectomy (VATPP) is often used to reduce the fluid buildup (also known as pleural effusions) in the pleural lung lining of mesothelioma patients. Recently, a new procedure, talc pleurodesis, has been discovered to be a great alternative to VATPP. Talc pleurodesis drains fluid buildup in the lining of the lung, and then utilizes talc to seal up the part of the pleura where buildup is removed. In order to test the effectiveness of this new procedure, physicians studied the cases of 175 pleural mesothelioma sufferers who were dealing with pleural effusion. This controlled, randomized study was made up of patients over the age of 18 from 12 hospitals in the United Kingdom. All of the patients either suffered from pleural effusions, or were suspected as suffering from pleural effusions. Half of the patients had the traditional VATPP procedure, while the other half underwent talc pleurodesis.
The results of the study supported the scientists’ assertion that talc pleurodesis was a more effective procedure than VATPP. VATPP patients suffered additional respiratory issues, and had more air leaks and surgical complications than those that underwent talc pleurodesis. Most notably, 57 percent of talc pleurodesis patients survived a year after the procedure, while only 52 percent of VATPP patients survived. From this study the physicians recommended talc pleurodesis as being a better treatment for improving the overall survival of patients suffering from pleural effusions.
These astounding findings will allow the talc pleurodesis procedure to receive more acceptance within the greater medical community. And because of this, pleural mesothelioma sufferers may experience less pain as they try to live with their ailment. Concerned that your pleural mesothelioma is the result of exposure to asbestos? Contact a mesothelioma attorney today.