Alternative Supportive Therapies During Treatment for Mesothelioma

Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC

Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a relatively rare type of cancer in the thin layer of tissue that covers most of the afflicted patient’s internal organs (mesothelium). Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Nonetheless, treatment during the initial two stages of disease in which the cancer is localized can be effective. Early detection is key to starting therapy in the beginning stages. Complementary treatments including acupuncture, massage, yoga, meditation, and some herbal preparations can help to make treatment more tolerable. Visit asbestos.com/treatment/alternative/ to learn more about mesothelioma and other alternative treatments patients may use in conjunction with conventional medical care.

Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma

Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, which forms on the soft tissue lining the lungs, include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Reduced chest expansion (difficulty breathing)
  • Unexplained weight loss

Over time, if cancer spreads, these symptoms exacerbate. In addition to standard medical care to treat cancer and reduce pain, many patients find that acupuncture, massage, and other supportive therapies can help to reduce some of the adverse side effects of treatment. Sticking with a treatment plan with the help of a licensed acupuncturist such as Dr.Lisa Oskardmay or other providers can help to improve the outcome.

Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of pleural mesothelioma. About 8 out of 10 people with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral. There are six types composed of long and thin fibrous crystals. Each fiber comprises many microscopic “fibrils” that can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion and other processes. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance, asbestos has been used in various building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. Asbestos has also been used in a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling, and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.

When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they travel to the ends of small air passages and reach the pleura, where they can cause inflammation and scarring. Over time, this can turn into mesothelioma.

Treatment for Mesothelioma

The most common treatment for mesothelioma involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Supportive therapies can help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for many mesothelioma patients. While complementary therapies can help mitigate treatment symptoms, patients are advised against depending solely on nonmedical treatments—also, the earlier the diagnosis, the better the potential outcome.

Contact the offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay to learn more about how acupuncture in Chapel Hill can help you. Call (919) 929-1400 or visit us 24 hours a day at acudocnc.com to learn more and schedule an appointment.