Lung Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Photodynamic Therapy

Mesothelioma Photodynamic Therapy

Mesothelioma Photodynamic Therapy

Mesothelioma photodynamic therapy is one of the new experimental ways that are currently being used to fight against mesothelioma, one of the most aggressive cancers affecting humans today. Below, you can learn more about mesothelioma photodynamic therapy.

What is photodynamic therapy?

Photodynamic therapy is the process by which light is used to destroy cancer cells while leaving healthy human cells intact or untouched. In a photodynamic therapy, the cancerous cells in the body are treated with certain drugs that make them sensitive to light. Then, when light is exposed on these cells, they will begin to emit a variant of the oxygen gas that has the innate ability to kill cancerous cells that are in the vicinity of the oxygen gas that is produced.

What is mesothelioma photodynamic therapy?

In a mesothelioma photodynamic therapy, the patient will be given a certain drug that will create the photosensitizing effect that was discussed earlier. The dosage of the drug will depend on the type of mesothelioma cancer cells that are affecting the patient and it will also depend on the extent of cancerous growth.

Once the drug is administered, the patient will have to wait about 1-3 days to begin the next phase of the mesothelioma photodynamic therapy. After that waiting time has gone by, patients will simply have to come in for a procedure where the doctor will shine a special light on the affected part of the body. The reactive oxygen gas will be created and the cancerous cells will be killed. A patient might be exposed to light for about 10 minutes to even a couple of hours, depending on the extent of cancerous growth.

Can all mesothelioma patients receive the photodynamic therapy?

No, not all patients can receive this treatment as it only works on tumors that are localized in nature. In other words, mesothelioma photodynamic therapy will only work on mesothelioma patients who have been diagnosed with stage 1 or stage 2 mesothelioma and it cannot be used on patients who are suffering from metastasized mesothelioma.

The mesothelioma photodynamic therapy is also used in combination with traditional cancer-fighting treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The effectiveness of this therapy is also limited to treating cancers that are close to the surface of the skin.

Are there are side effects associated with mesothelioma photodynamic therapy?

Patients will generally experience a sensitiveness in their skin and eyes after they have received this treatment. Such sensitiveness can persist for more than a month and patients will be advised to avoid direct sunlight and even bright indoor lights for that matter.

Also, some patients who receive the mesothelioma photodynamic therapy will experience certain localized side effects that will be related to the area of treatment. For example, they might experience temporary stomach pain if they received photodynamic therapy in their abdominal area or they might experience chest pains and difficulty in breathing if they received photodynamic therapy in the chest area when they are treated for pleural mesothelioma.

Apart from these temporary and most manageable side effects, mesothelioma photodynamic therapy does not produce any major concerns for patients who will undergo them.

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