Mesothelioma cancer is a very aggressive disease that can be very difficult to treat. There are standard treatments available for mesothelioma including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but these are not the only options available to mesothelioma patients.
Many suffering from mesothelioma cancer choose to seek alternative treatment options or clinical trials in combination with standard mesothelioma therapies to help improve their quality of life or slow the progression of their cancer.
Mesothelioma research has shown that there may be ways for mesothelioma patients to boost their own immune systems while undergoing standard mesothelioma treatment. You can assist your immune system by doing any of the following:
- Eliminate trans fats from your diet and instead incorporate Omega 3’s with 2-4 grams of fish oil per day, or 1-2 tablespoons of flax oil or 2-4 tablespoons of ground flax seed.
- Practice eliciting your relaxation response frequently. Yoga, meditation, massage and breathing exercises can be effective forms of relaxation.
- Incorporating enzymes before meals can enhance chemotherapy drugs and may extend survival. You should discuss proper dosages with a physician before taking these over-the-counter supplements.
- Melatonin can be taken in 10 to 20 milligram doses before bed.
- Immune modulators such as eating gourmet mushrooms, mushroom extracts, or herbal preparations of Ecchinacea and Astragalus, purified in concentrated colostrum can be taken. AG-Immune by BodyWise contains all of these immune modulators in a single capsule.
Before pursuing any form of alternative treatment you should discuss it with your doctor. The short book “A Dieticians Cancer Story” by Diana Dyer provides more information on nutrition and diet for cancer patients by a three time cancer survivor.
Other alternative treatments that mesothelioma patients often turn to include dietary changes, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs and therapeutic massage. These alternative therapies are oftentimes used in combination with traditional therapies for an “integrative” approach. This integrative medical approach is considered to be holistic treating patients physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) employs a photosensitive drug that is stimulated by a laser. The laser will kill only the cancer cells that react to the photosensitive drug and is used in conjunction with surgery. The laser light used for mesothelioma patients is chosen specifically to stimulate the photosensitive agent in the pleura or other tumor location with a fiber optic device.
Gene Therapy and Replacement Gene Therapy are some of the most promising new treatments being researched today. These Gene Therapies may provide a way to treat cancer at the DNA level, correcting the abnormal gene that allows cancer cells to grow and divide uncontrollably. Replacement Gene Therapy is specifically designed to replace a missing or mutated gene in order to prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Visual or Guided Imagery
Visual Imagery is used widely among some therapists and cancer patients although its ability to lead to physical recovery is uncertain. Visual imagery is the practice of creating mental images with the goal of positively affecting one’s health. Mesothelioma cancer patients can use relaxation and mental images to relieve side effects of traditional therapy and to improve their immune response. “Healing Yourself: A Step-By-Step Program for Better Health Through Imagery” by Martin Rossman, M.D. is the standard book on the practice of imagery.
To learn more about alternative mesothelioma treatments, we encourage you to read “Choices in Healing,” by Michael Lerner.