Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs, abdomen, heart, and other organs. The disease is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a fibrous mineral that was widely used in construction and manufacturing until the 1980s. Mesothelioma often presents with symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and fatigue, all of which can impact a patient’s lung function. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve lung function for mesothelioma patients, including:
Smoking can further damage the lungs of mesothelioma patients, exacerbating symptoms and reducing lung function. Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps a mesothelioma patient can take to improve their lung function and overall health.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program designed to help patients with lung diseases improve their lung function, manage their symptoms, and enhance their overall quality of life. The program typically includes exercises that strengthen the lungs and improve breathing techniques, as well as education on nutrition, stress management, and other lifestyle factors that can impact lung function.
Oxygen therapy involves the use of supplemental oxygen to help mesothelioma patients breathe more easily and improve their lung function. The therapy can be delivered through a nasal cannula, face mask, or other devices, and can be used both at home and in a clinical setting.
Several types of medications can help improve lung function for mesothelioma patients, including bronchodilators, which relax the airways and make it easier to breathe, and corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation in the lungs and improve symptoms.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to improve lung function for mesothelioma patients. For example, pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) is a surgical procedure that involves removing the lining of the lung and any visible tumors, which can improve breathing and overall lung function.
Radiation therapy can be used to shrink tumors in the lungs or other areas of the body, which can improve lung function and reduce symptoms. The therapy can be delivered externally or internally, depending on the location and size of the tumor.
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga may also help improve lung function for mesothelioma patients. These therapies can help reduce stress, improve relaxation, and enhance overall well-being, which can in turn improve lung function and reduce symptoms.
In addition to these treatments, mesothelioma patients can also take steps to improve their overall health and well-being, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise within their capabilities, and managing stress. Working with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and other specialists, can also help ensure that mesothelioma patients receive the best possible care and support.