If someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, you’d do anything to ease their suffering and extend their life. Unfortunately, this asbestos-related disease is always fatal. Depending upon the patient’s physical condition and priorities, they may choose an aggressive approach that involves extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy with an eye to the longest possible survival time, while others may choose a palliative approach whose goal is simply to provide the maximum comfort and quality of life in the time that remains to them. Whichever approach is chosen, there’s a good chance that the mesothelioma patient will experience the pain and discomfort caused by pleural effusion – in fact, the pressure and difficulty breathing that it causes may have even been the first indication that something was wrong. Now a study has shown that one of the simplest procedures offered to mesothelioma patients – the removal of excess fluid from the lungs and pleural space – is the one that may bring the greatest relief and biggest improvement in their quality of life.
The study on the impact of pleural fluid removal from malignant mesothelioma patients was conducted by researchers from Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust in the United Kingdom, and was published in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research. The group found that when patients were provided with thoracentesis or other procedures that removed the excess fluid that commonly builds up in response to cancer, they found profound relief of the fatigue, pain, dry cough and shortness of breath that they had been experiencing. The more fluid was removed, the better they felt.
The process of removing pleural effusion can be done in the hospital via a needle that is inserted into the chest, but because it needs to be done every time the fluid accumulates, many patients are now being fitted with ports that provide them the ability to drain the fluids themselves, in their own homes. What may be most notable about this study is that the results were based on the patients’ own feedback and evaluation of what provided them with the most relief.
If someone you love is struggling with the pain of mesothelioma, then you know that the treatment can be expensive and the impact on their lives is devastating. For assistance in getting them the help that they need, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.