Mesothelioma patients are champions in their own right, fighting day in and day out against a fatal disease. While mesothelioma is not always lethal, treatment of the illness revolves around pain management rather than cure. Unfortunately, this grim reality can knock out even the bubbliest of individuals and succumb them to tears, robbing them of the joy of enjoying their life. Here are a few tips that can equip primary care providers to improve mesothelioma patient’s lives. Remember, for best results, stay consistent and stick to medications prescribed by the oncologist.
Treatments for Mesothelioma
Be sure to find a top-notch oncologist to consult and start your patient’s treatment. Discuss all treatment options in great detail and then narrow down the choices. Without treatment, typically, patients have eight months to live. However, oncologists can improve the quality of life for mesothelioma patients and increase their life span to 3 years with the proper treatment. Albeit, it is not enough, the silver lining can give hope to patients and loved ones alike. Moreover, in the last 20 years, with the advancements in technology, healthcare providers can drastically improve patient survival rates.
So, what are the available treatments for mesothelioma patients? It entirely depends on the patient’s physical fitness, health, and prognosis. If cancer gets detected at an early stage, they can get the surgery done. However, if detected at a later stage, the options come down to chemotherapy or radiation. All three treatments aim to reduce the spread of the disease and are beneficial for improving patient health. To learn details about treatment, visit this website and consult your doctor about which procedures will work best for you.
Look into 3D Bioprinting
Here’s your silver lining, 3D Bioprinting has evolved incredibly over the last few decades. To the point where oncologists might utilize it for the treatment of late-diagnosed mesothelioma patients. Fully functioning organs can be printed using this state-of-the-art method. Due to late detection, mesothelioma can spread to organs, thereby creating a need for an organ transplant. However, since most patients with this prognosis are aged, organ transplant is not preferred. Moreover, even if the transplant is successful, many individuals die either because their body rejects the organ, surgical complications arise, or a deficiency in the organ is faced.
However, with 3D Bioprinting, there is no need for organ donation. Using the patient’s cells, scientists can create organs from scratch, thereby throwing the probability of complications out the window. While this is extremely promising and gives many a ray of hope, researchers have yet to mimic vascular networks such as blood vessels and airways within the organs. Fingers crossed, they make a breakthrough soon so that mesothelioma patients can benefit from it.
Give Digital Health a Go
Since mesothelioma is a rare disease, most cancer specialists are not familiar with its treatment. If your patient has to travel to another city for routine checkups and treatments, be sure to look into digital health solutions. Traveling for hours can drain patients’ energy and make them feel nauseous, instead, they can schedule virtual routine checkups with their oncologist.
Patients can also utilize virtual reality (VR) to distract themselves from anxiety and pain, which they might otherwise feel during chemotherapy. While VR cannot reduce the pain experienced, the distraction makes the treatment feel short and more bearable. Furthermore, you can track a patient’s health with fitness bands/watches. Fitness bands are an excellent way to count daily footsteps, calculate blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate. And even help keep an eye on sleep patterns.
Try Out a Clinical Trial
Healthcare professionals may not be well-equipped to provide adequate solutions for improving mesothelioma. However, many researchers run clinical trials throughout to provide a better quality of life for patients. Consult your doctor to find clinical trials that best suit your needs. In recent years, researchers have found beneficial results from photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy. Currently, gene therapy is also under process. With plenty of research going on, there must be a trial that can improve a patient’s life, a little bit if not drastically.
Believe it or not, artificial intelligence might be your savior. Science is constantly making discoveries, and one such is machine learning, a subdivision of AI. According to a clinical trial run in Turkey in 2015, an artificial immune system tested patients with pleural mesothelioma. Much to their surprise, AI gave 97.74% accurate results. Thereby determining, machine learning can successfully detect tumors early and save grace for patients worldwide. Early detection can provide doctors with a head start to eliminate tumor before it aggravates, prescribe medications, and treatments to save innocent lives.
That’s not all. A report in 2019 cited that the benefits of AI go beyond early detection. It can even calculate and predict which patient will respond best to which treatment. Making AI a game-changer in the field of medicine. This breakthrough can save patients’ finances and protect them from the pain they undergo due to aggressive cancer treatments.
Patients with mesothelioma may feel like giving up on life. However, there is plenty you can do to improve their quality of life as primary care providers. From keeping them positive to helping them make health-conscious decisions, you can play a crucial role in improving their life span.