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Radiation used to treat mesothelioma

Different types of surgery are available to treat the type of cancer known as mesothelioma, according to the American Cancer Society. But radiation therapy is frequently used as well.

Radiation therapy involves using high energy rays, such as x-rays, to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, which is the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs. In the vast majority of cases, it’s caused by exposure to asbestos.

According to the American Cancer Society, the type of radiation used comes in two basic forms.

— Brachytherapy, or therapy from radioactive materials put right inside the tumor.

— External radiation, a source from outside the body given the same way as an X-ray used to find a broken bone. But it usually takes longer than undergoing an X-ray, requiring the patient to undergo treatment five days a week for several weeks.

External radiation is the preferred form of treatment for mesothelioma. Usually, however, that form of cancer is difficult to treat with radiation due to the challenges of aiming the radiation at the cancer without affecting surrounding healthy tissue such as the lungs.

Radiation may be used after surgery to try to kill small areas of cancer that surgeons could not see and remove while performing surgery. Radiation may also ease symptoms of mesothelioma such as shortness of breath, pain, bleeding, and trouble swallowing.

If you or a loved one have contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.

See more information about mesothelioma here:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignantmesothelioma/