Mesothelioma treatment is not without its side effects; and for many patients, facing a wide-ranging list of possible side effects can be overwhelming. It is important to note, however, that mesothelioma and cancer treatments have improved over the past several years. Mesothelioma treatment today is much more tolerable than it was even a few years ago.
It is also important to note that no single drug or treatment will cause every listed side effect. Because each individual is different and each treatment has its own singular list of side-effects, not everyone receiving mesothelioma treatment will experience all or even most of the listed side effects. For accurate information regarding possible side effects, please consult with your physician.
Side Effects of Surgery
Surgical treatments for mesothelioma, even diagnostic procedures, are often invasive. While many of the side effects experienced as the result of surgery are temporary, pain and discomfort, especially at incision points, can last longer. Your doctor or nurse may offer insights into what to expect following surgery, as well as the most effective method of handling pain.
Chemotherapy Side Effects
The type and severity of the side effects will depend both on the specific chemotherapy being administered and the way in which the mesothelioma patient’s body responds. Before starting therapy, talk to your doctor and nurse about the specific side-effects you may expect, how long they are expected to last, and when you should call the doctor.
Common Side Effects Can Include:
- Nausea, Vomiting
- Hair Loss
- Constipation, Diarrhea
- Blood Clots
- Decreased Blood Counts
- Loss of Sensation in Hands and Feet
After mesothelioma chemotherapy treatment has been completed, and the body’s normal cells have had a chance to recover, the majority of these side effects will gradually disappear.
Radiation Side Effects
While the purpose of radiation treatment is to destroy cancer cells, it will also destroy normal cells located within the treatment area, the end result being the development of side effects.
Possible Side Effects Can Include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Skin Reactions/Irritations
- Forming of Scar Tissue
- Sore Throat
- Loss of Hair
Just like chemotherapy and surgery, side effects will vary depending upon the individual and the area of the body being treated. Some mesothelioma patients do not experience any side effects from radiation treatment while others may experience only a few.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact the mesothelioma lawyers at Simmons Law Firm for more information and a free consultation.
1 – Pass, Harvey, MD, Metula, Amy, BSN, RN, MA, ANP-C and Vento, Susan (2010). 100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma (2nd Edition) (pp. 58-74). Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 2010. Print.
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