Malignant myxoid mesothelioma is a rare form of mesothelioma that accounts for less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells, which are the cells that line the internal organs and cavities of the body. Malignant myxoid mesothelioma is characterized by the presence of myxoid or mucinous material in the tumor tissue. Treatment options for malignant myxoid mesothelioma may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In this answer, we will focus on the risks of radiation therapy for malignant myxoid mesothelioma.
Radiation therapy is a common treatment option for mesothelioma, including malignant myxoid mesothelioma. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy may be used as a primary treatment for mesothelioma, or it may be used in combination with other treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy. However, like all cancer treatments, radiation therapy has risks and potential side effects.
The risks of radiation therapy for malignant myxoid mesothelioma depend on several factors, including the dose of radiation, the location of the tumor, the overall health of the patient, and whether radiation therapy is used alone or in combination with other treatments. Some of the potential risks of radiation therapy for malignant myxoid mesothelioma include:
Skin irritation and damage: Radiation therapy can cause skin irritation and damage in the area of the body where the radiation is administered. This can cause the skin to become red, sore, and itchy. In some cases, radiation therapy can cause blisters or burns on the skin.
Fatigue: Radiation therapy can cause fatigue, which is a feeling of extreme tiredness and lack of energy. This can make it difficult for patients to perform their daily activities and may require them to rest more than usual.
Nausea and vomiting: Radiation therapy can cause nausea and vomiting, which may be mild or severe. These side effects can usually be managed with medication.
Diarrhea: Radiation therapy can cause diarrhea, which is the frequent passing of loose, watery stools. This can be uncomfortable and may require medication to manage.
Radiation pneumonitis: Radiation therapy to the chest area can cause inflammation of the lungs, which is called radiation pneumonitis. This can cause symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Radiation fibrosis: Radiation therapy can cause the tissues in the treated area to become stiff and less elastic, which is called radiation fibrosis. This can cause discomfort and may make it difficult for patients to move the affected area of the body.
Secondary cancers: Radiation therapy can increase the risk of developing secondary cancers later in life. This risk is higher for patients who have received high doses of radiation.
Damage to nearby organs: Radiation therapy can cause damage to nearby organs, such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. This can cause long-term side effects and may require additional treatment.
Impaired wound healing: Radiation therapy can impair the body’s ability to heal wounds in the treated area. This can make it difficult for patients to recover from surgery or other treatments.
Radiation recall: Radiation therapy can cause a skin reaction in the treated area months or even years after the radiation therapy is completed. This is called radiation recall and can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, and blistering.
It is important for patients with malignant myxoid mesothelioma to discuss the risks and benefits of radiation therapy with their healthcare team. Patients should also be aware of the potential side effects of radiation therapy and should report any symptoms to their healthcare team immediately. Healthcare providers can work with patients to manage side effects and provide support throughout the treatment process.