- 1) Modified Surgical Approach May Increase Pleural Mesothelioma Survival
- 2) Mindfulness Help Mesothelioma Patients, Study Says
- 3) Exercise and Friendship Increase Mesothelioma Survival Rate
1) Modified Surgical Approach May Increase Pleural Mesothelioma Survival
For people with malignant pleural mesothelioma, surgery usually offers the best odds of survival.
however, surgery may come at a heavy price in terms of pain, post-surgical side effects, and quality of life.
Even lung-sparing pleurectomy with decortication, the smallest amount radical of the 2 major forms of mesothelioma surgery, will cause life-threatening complications.
But a new Italian study suggests that it’s going to be possible to reduce side effects and maximize mesothelioma survival by using a modified version of pleurectomy followed by a specialized chemotherapy treatment.
Pleurectomy Treatment For Pleural Mesothelioma
During a typically extended pleurectomy for a patient with pleural mesothelioma, surgeons take away the unhealthy pleural membrane where mesothelioma tumors grow.
In an effort to keep mesothelioma from spreading, the surgeon will generally take away other at-risk tissues together with all or part of the diaphragm and the pericardium, the membrane that surrounds the heart.
Although pleurectomy (even the radical version) is less extensive than lung-removing extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery (EPP), it still carries a risk of serious postoperative issues, pain, and even death.
Study On Modified Pleurectomy and HITHOC for Mesothelioma Treatment
The newly released mesothelioma surgery study began in 2005 and included 49 pleural mesothelioma patients, most of whom were men with the epithelioid subtype of mesothelioma. almost half of the patients had been diagnosed with Stage III or IV mesothelioma.
Over 10 years, these malignant pleural mesothelioma patients were treated with a version of pleurectomy that spared not only their lungs, however also their diaphragm and pericardium.
After the surgery, every patient’s chest area was rinsed with a solution of heated chemotherapy medicine during a procedure called HITHOC (hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy). Patients also underwent standard mesothelioma chemotherapy afterward.
The best news was that there were no intraoperative complications or postoperative deaths among any of the study participants. Fewer than half experienced any complications after the modified pleurectomy with HITHOC.
The overall mesothelioma survival rate after the procedure was just under 2 years, however, almost ten percent of the mesothelioma patients treated with this combination lived for a minimum of 5 years afterward. nearly 80 % lived for at least a year and 45.7 % experienced 2 years of mesothelioma survival.
“Cytoreductive surgery related to HITHOC and adjuvant chemotherapy seems possible and safe, with no mortality and low morbidity,” concludes study author Marcello Carlo Ambrogi, Ph.D. “Preserving lung and diaphragmatic function would possibly warrant an acceptable long-term outcome.”
The new study appears in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
2) Mindfulness Help Mesothelioma Patients, Study Says
There is new proof that lung or Mesothelioma cancer patients who got training in mindfulness can Surprising lower their feelings of stress and anxiety.
Lung-related cancers like pleural mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer have been shown to provide some of the highest levels of anxiety of any cancer.
Although there are variations between the asbestos cancer malignant mesothelioma and other types of lung cancer, each malignancy tends to progress quickly and are usually fatal.
Psychological Distress is Common in Mesothelioma Patients
In a new multi-center study revealed in the December issue of Psycho-Oncology, Dutch researchers invited a group of lung cancer patients and their partners to participate in an 8-week group-based intervention.
A total of 64 study subjects received “care as usual”, together with anticancer treatment, medical consultations, and supportive care.
But 31 of the patients and 21 partners also received 2 months of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), together with mindfulness practice and teachings on stress. the first outcome researchers were interested in was psychological distress, one thing that is also common in people with malignant pleural mesothelioma and their partners.
But the scientists were also fascinated by the impact of MBSR on:
- Quality of life
- Caregiver burden
- Relationship satisfaction
- mindfulness skills
- And posttraumatic stress symptoms
Outcomes were assessed before families started the program, right after they completed it, and 3 months later and were then compared to the group that received no MBSR.
What is the result of MBSR
The study produced some good news and some bad news for individuals undergoing lung cancer or mesothelioma treatment and their families. First, the good news:
“Our findings suggest that psychological distress in lung cancer patients can be effectively treated with MBSR,” writes lead author Melanie Schellekens, a psychiatric researcher at Radboud University Medical Centre.
Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the patients’ partners. The MBSR training didn’t seem to have any measurable impact on them and also the researchers suggest that the reason may be because caregivers tend to be “more focused on patients’ well-being instead of their own.”
3) Exercise and Friendship Increase Mesothelioma Survival Rate
David Doust could be a well-known and respected figure at the Mandurah Seniors and Community Centre, placed about an hour south of Perth, Western Australia.
Each Monday, he travels roughly 30 miles to Waroona, where he participates in and helps to organize an exercise class for people with mobility issues.
From Tuesday through Friday on most weeks, you’ll notice him participating in hour-long exercise classes or taking a 5-mile trip with different walkers around the city.
This amount of exercise for anyone in their 70s is quite outstanding. except for Doust, 74, a mesothelioma survivor, it’s superb.
Doust’s journey with asbestos-related cancer began in early 2016 when he experienced shortness of breath, or dyspnea. wrong diagnosed with pneumonia, he underwent a pleurodesis to get rid of excess fluid from around the lungs and was soon back to his exercise routine.
His love of sport and competition also saw him participating in many marathons, as well as the City2Surf event in Sydney, where he again experienced persistent dyspnea.
The fluid had come back.
Upon returning to Perth, he underwent another pleurodesis. now the fluid was sent to pathology.
Doust can always remember the day his lung specialist called to inform him he had acute lymphatic leukemia and pleural mesothelioma — each attributed to his history of asbestos exposure.
Although doust is deeply shocked by the double blow to his health, Doust had no doubt his time spent within the asbestos mining town of Wittenoom was the cause.
When and How Doust Expose To Asbestos
The realization came with regret. while living in the city, Doust was aware of mesothelioma, however had not feared for his health.
He knew a good number of people who lived in the city for several years without health problem, including a friend who resided there for over 50 years and was absolutely healthy.
Additionally, he believed his nonsmoking habit and healthy lifestyle created him immune. it had been unhappy to accept the city he loved most had turned out to be his enemy.
Wittenoom, the small city located approximately 870 miles northeast of Perth within the Pilbara region of Western Australia, was a mining stronghold for over two decades. At one point, it had been the only place within the country mining blue asbestos.
The operation was finished off in 1966 following the emergence of great health risks, however, another decade passed before authorities completed the blue dust spread throughout the city was potentially deadly.
In 2008, the government declared the city a contaminated site.
Doust Stay Active After Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Since his mesothelioma diagnosis, Doust has undergone 2 rounds of chemotherapy, each leading to a mini-stroke that left him hospitalized.
But even that wouldn’t hold him down.
Within weeks, Doust was back at the senior center participating in exercises classes and enjoying other activities together with his friends, who pray for him and provide support whenever required.
Doust is fast to admit he couldn’t make out without them.
He is also grateful for the various services provided by the center, together with a variety of healthy meals that come back from the fully staffed kitchen. never married, he lives alone and has no interest in preparation. Most days he eats a hearty lunch at the center and a simple bowl of soup — usually provided by caring friends — at home later in the evening.
Fortunate to suffer no pain, Doust carries on in much the same approach he always has. mesothelioma has not changed his enthusiasm for life or his temperament to help others.
This year, like several before, he traveled to Chang Mai in Northern Thailand to an elephant nature park, run by the Save Elephant Foundation, a non-commercial organization dedicated to providing care and help to Thailand’s captive elephant population.
David Doust frequently travels to Northern Thailand to volunteer for the Save Elephant Foundation.
Here, along with fellow volunteers, he helps to care for the elephants. His chores vary, generally menial however never boring.
The opportunity to achieve the trust of the majestic animals brings such joy it transcends all thoughts of illness, and it provides a way of wonder that continues to be long after he returns to Australia.
For Doust, the only medicine he wants is good friends, many exercises and a positive attitude.
“Try to do the things you’d normally do,” he said. “Be active, and above all, keep up your friendships.”
- City of Mandurah. (n.d.). Seniors and Community Centre. Retrieved from https://www.mandurah.wa.gov.au/facilities/seniors-and-community-centre
- Save Elephant Foundation. (n.d.). Our Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.saveelephant.org/about/our-foundation/
- Travel Blog. (n.d.). Dave’s Gorge Adventure Tours. Retrieved from https://www.travelblog.org/Photos/7783172
- Schellekens, MPJ, et al, “Mindfulness-based stress reduction added to care as usual for lung cancer patients and/or their partners: A multicentre randomized controlled trial”, December 2017, Psycho-Oncology, pp 2118-2126
- Ambrogi, MC, et al, “Diaphragm and lung-preserving surgery with hyperthermic chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma: A 10-year experience”, November 1, 2017, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Epub ahead of print