New Mesothelioma treatment increases survival rate of asbestos victims.
A new technique of treatment against Mesothelioma has been developed which leads to an increased survival rate of sufferers of asbestos related disease.
There have been developments in revolutionary treatment against Mesothelioma cancer in Toronto. Mesothelioma is a lung cancer which is exclusively linked to asbestos inhalation.
Dr. John Cho and Dr. Marc De Perrot have teamed up to pioneer a new technique that has more than doubled survival rates in Mesothelioma patients.
A Mesothelioma sufferer, Man Hong Chan from Ontario who worked as a hydro mechanic went over 20 years without being diagnosed with Mesothelioma after asbestos exposure. As well as in construction, asbestos was commonly found in motor vehicles used as the friction material for components like brakes and clutches, it was within his work that he was exposed to such deadly substances.
After beginning to feel short of breath during exercise it was confirmed by his doctor that Mr. Chan was suffering from Mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is caused by an exposure to asbestos, only inhaled the long, thin fibres get lodged in the lungs over decades and the cancer develops in the cells in the outer lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma is so difficult to treat as some of the fibres and affected cells would escape during the surgery due to them being light weight meaning the cancer can easily spread.
Traditional treatments against Mesothelioma often involve chemotherapy or surgery including removing a lung, followed by radiation treatment in a hope to kill any remaining fibres or cancers. The new technique kills cells using radiation before surgery instead of after; ensuring any cancer cells that are left over cannot spread and are not viable. The technique has been named SMART, Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy.
Thanks to this new therapy, Mr. Chan has now been cancer free for more than 4 years. The treatment is said to draw attention and raise awareness of Mesothelioma and its treatments. The SMART surgery is said to have doubled the 3 year survival rate from 32% to 72%.
The new treatment started being tested 5 years ago and the survival rates of patients could continue to increase and lengthen. Due to the extended time between diagnosis and exposure, high rates of Mesothelioma are unlikely to decrease yet. Asbestos was banned in 2000 and whilst exposure has been reduced it has not been eradicated as it is still present in older buildings as well as being legal still in some countries including the United States and Canada.
Average survival rates are only 8-12 months from diagnosis but Dr Cho and Dr. De Perrot advise seeking early referral can play a large part in treatment and increasing survival rates as treatment is fast and often done within a month of diagnosis.