Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Like most other cancers, the treatment plan usually includes curative treatment and palliative care. If the disease is detected in Stage 1 and Stage 2, an aggressive approach is used to kill and prevent further growth of cancer cells. At later stages, doctors mostly focus on palliative care, where they try to improve the quality of life, reduce the immediate symptoms and increase the life expectancy of the patient. In this post, we will talk about light therapy, which may offer some help to mesothelioma patients in dealing with depression and fatigue. Before that, let’s talk about the basic treatments.
Malignant mesothelioma is considered to be an aggressive disease, and therefore, the treatment is usually aggressive, as well. Some of the common cancer treatments, like radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy, are used, and given the extreme symptoms, these can be hard on the patient. After a point, patients have a tough time dealing with the side effects. This is where doctors like to focus on palliative care, which is more about reducing the pain and symptoms and increasing the life expectancy, although many of such therapies can be even tougher to withstand.
Most of the cancer-fighting medicines can cause a number of additional effects, such as sleeping disorders, depression, and fatigue. These effects often last for a long time, even after the radiation and chemotherapy treatments are over. Some researchers have revealed that light therapy might help in reducing these effects caused by mesothelioma treatment. According to researchers from Icahn School of Medicine, light therapy had a significant impact on cancer patients, as far as fatigue and depression are concerned.
Light therapy for mesothelioma patients
Patients suffering from mesothelioma often have to take high and large toxic doses of medications, which can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining. If this stress is eased, patients can enjoy a better quality of life. Light therapy is also known as systematic light exposure. It has been used for treating seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD. The mentioned study is the first to measure the effects of this treatment on cancer patients. The clinical trial involved many patients, who experienced considerable improvement in symptoms related to depression. On the contrary, patients who were exposed to dim red light had no improvement.
Hope for the future
Researchers are trying to understand the reason behind the positive effects caused by white light. It is believed that the white light impacts the circadian rhythms of the patient, which is known to influence mood and sleeping patterns. Researchers also mentioned that most of the cancer patients have issues with circadian rhythms.
Will light therapy work for everyone? Researchers agree that patients with extreme depression may not see a lot of improvement, but there is hope. Malignant mesothelioma can be dangerous, and in many cases, the patients don’t even have a lot of time. As such, any treatment can offer a better quality of life can be extremely useful. You can also check websites that offer Mesotheiloma help connecting patients & caregivers.
Authro Bio – Nancy is a blog and content writer with more than 20 years of professional experience. Nancy has been writing about mesothelioma and cancer for close to eight years.