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Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma. The surgeon may remove part of the lining of the pleura and some of the tissue around it. In other cases a lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy or part of the diaphragm (the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing) is also removed.

Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The radiation may come from a machine or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy).

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Drugs used to treat mesothelioma are most often delivered by an Intravenous Infusion (the chemotherapy is delivered through a small tube that is placed inside of vein; generally in the wrist, arm and/or neck).

Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. This type of cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.

Clinical Trials is another option in the choice of treatments. The best resource for locating and understanding the ins and outs of clinical trials is the National Cancer Institute (NCI). They can be reached through the Internet; or by phone at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-623).

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