Information & Resources

Treatments

There are many different treatment options available and Asbestoswise recommends that you liaise with the appropriate medical team. One treatment is not necessarily suitable for all individuals and sometimes many different combinations are suitable based on personal choice and presenting illness. Outlined below is a basic overview of some of the treatments available.

Conventional medicine

There are many different options and they will differ significantly based on your individual case. There is extensive research taking place into the treatment options for mesothelioma and these options should be discussed with your oncologist, as they are not always suitable for all cases.

Some examples of conventional medicine in the treatment of asbestos related diseases are:

  • Radiotherapy, chemotherapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Surgery (lobectomy, pneumonectomy and extrapleural pneumonectomy)

There are several ways to detect lung and pleural disease including:

  • Physical examination
  • Chest X-ray
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Biopsy/Bronchoscopy
  • Computed Tomography Scans (CT Scan)

 

Complementary and alternative therapies

Complementary and alternative therapy is a group of diverse medical practices and products that are not considered to be part of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is that which is practiced by a registered medical doctor.

Complementary therapy is used as an adjunct to conventional medicine, while alternative therapy is used instead of conventional medicine.

Examples of complementary and alternative therapies and disciplines include:

  • Alternative medical systems: including naturopathy, traditional chinese medicine, ayurveda and homeopathy
  • Mind-body interventions: including patient support groups, cognitive-behavioural therapy meditation, prayer, mental healing and therapies that use creative outlets such as art, music or dance
  • Biologically-based therapies: including herbs, vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements
  • Manipulative and body-based methods: including therapeutic massage, chiropractic and osteopathy, and
  • Energy therapies: including acupuncture, therapeutic touch, reiki, qi gong, electromagnetic fields and magnetic fields

(The Senate report on the inquiry into services and treatment options for persons with cancer, June 2005, Submission 45, pp 5-6: The Gawler Foundation)

 

Palliative care

Palliative care consists of a group of professionals such as pain management specialists, nurses, doctors, chaplains and volunteers - all working together to provide the best possible pain and symptom control for the patient - whilst at the same time offering physical and emotional support to their families.

The Department of Human Services provides funds for specialist palliative care services to operate throughout the state of Victoria. While general health care services are often involved in the care of people with a terminal illness, the Palliative Care Program provides specialist services that address specific issues such as the management of pain and other symptoms associated with a terminal illness and to provide psychological, social and spiritual support where required or if requested.

Local contacts can be found at: www.health.vic.gov.au