What are the Effects of Mesothelioma Treatment?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Mesothelioma & Asbestos Published on January 10, 2019 and updated on March 3, 2022.

man receiving chemotherapyWhen someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma and there are treatment options, there can be a variety of serious, debilitating side effects from these treatments. Below, you can learn more about the side effects you can expect from different types of treatments for this disease.

Our Maryland mesothelioma attorneys are committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering – contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation to find out what we might be able to do for you.

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Chemotherapy is a mesothelioma treatment that uses specialized medication. Chemotherapy drugs work by killing cancer cells or preventing them from multiplying to stop the growth of mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is taken via oral medications or through injections in the muscle or vein, allowing the medications to enter the bloodstream and reach mesothelioma cells throughout the body.

The type of chemotherapy prescribed for your mesothelioma treatment will depend on the type and stage of the disease. The survival rate for pleural mesothelioma patients receiving only chemotherapy as treatment seems to go down over time, with fewer and fewer patients surviving after only a few years. Chemotherapy combined with surgery has proven more successful for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.

Chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma produces different side effects depending on which drugs are used, the dosage prescribed, and the length of chemotherapy treatment. The severity of symptoms may range between patients.

Possible chemotherapy side effects include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Tingling in the feet and hands
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Severe loss of weight and muscle tissue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sexual and reproductive issues

Radiation Therapy Side Effects

Radiation may also be used to treat mesothelioma. Radiation therapy involves high-energy X-rays or other radiation. The radiation prevents mesothelioma cells from growing or kills them.

Two types of radiation therapy are used in the treatment of mesothelioma: external and internal. External radiation therapy involves the use of a machine that sends radiation from outside the body inwards to the location of the cancer. Internal radiation therapy is administered through radioactive materials that are sealed within seeds, wires, needles or catheters and placed within the body near the cancer.

The type of radiation therapy prescribed to treat mesothelioma depends on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease. Radiation therapy also may produce many side effects that range in severity from one patient to the next.

Common side effects of radiation therapy for mesothelioma include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Blisters
  • Peeling skin
  • Fatigue
  • Sores in the mouth or throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Thickened saliva
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lymphedema
  • Tooth decay
  • Fever
  • Radiation pneumonia
  • Cough
  • Incontinence
  • Bladder irritation
  • Sexual disfunction
  • Menstruation changes or menopause symptoms in women
  • Infertility

Radiation side effects are often temporary, though some rare and serious side effects may be permanent. The location of targeted radiation typically affects where side effects are felt within the body. Radiation to treat mesothelioma in the chest may cause lung damage in the patient, causing chronic breathing problems and shortness of breath.

Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney for Help

Your physician can help you best manage side effects of your mesothelioma treatment. Medications, supplements or lifestyle changes may be prescribed to ease the symptoms you experience.

Our Maryland mesothelioma attorneys have helped numerous victims secure compensation after a mesothelioma diagnosis. We will review your claim and let you know what legal options may be available in your case.

Request a free, no obligation consultation today. There are no upfront fees and we only get paid if we recover compensation for you.

Call 410-244-7005 or fill out our Free Case Review form now.