Technology is a vital component of modern healthcare service provision. Mesothelioma patients are some of the biggest beneficiaries, with diagnosis and treatment of the disease now relying heavily on 21st century technological advancements. Here are some of the technologies that have been incorporated into mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment:
1. Artificial intelligence in early diagnosis
One factor that makes mesothelioma different from other types of cancer is its abnormally lengthy latency period. Symptoms can take up to 45 years to appear. However, with artificial intelligence and machine learning, oncologists can now detect tumors early in their development and potentially change a patient’s prognosis.
Early diagnosis also allows patients to file mesothelioma claims and receive compensation as soon as possible. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, always ensure you have a lawyer by your side when filing a claim. A reputable law firm such as Bergman Legal in Oregon can help conduct investigations, collect evidence, estimate your compensation, and submit your claim while you focus on seeking treatment.
2. Nanoparticle technology for better cell targeting
Chemotherapy is perhaps the most popular and viable way of treating cancer, but it has its downsides. The most obvious one is that it targets both cancerous cells and healthy cells, prolonging the healing process as the affected cells have to recover too. Nanoparticle technology has the edge on chemo and radiation therapies for this very reason. Its targeting accuracy is incredibly high, and this reduces its impact on healthy cells neighboring the tumor.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a new form of cancer cell treatment that allows doctors to administer more intense radiations with better accuracy. This combination of attributes enhances the effect of the treatment and reduces damage to neighboring cells. To showcase this potency, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas carried out a study on 28 patients on IMRT treatment. It was found that none of the patients experienced recurrence in the treated area, although some had it spread to other body parts. Some researchers reckon IMRT and chemotherapy can work as a complementary duo to ward off a local recurrence and curb spread to other parts of the body.
4. Robotic surgery
Robotic surgery is a concept that remains largely futuristic at the moment, but it is a potent treatment if a 2013 surgery on a pleural mesothelioma patient is anything to go by. Dr. Farid Gharagozloo, who performed the surgery, successfully removed his patient’s affected heart lining, lung, and diaphragm with the help of a robotic system. Post-treatment assessment showed that the treatment was relatively accurate and less painful and less detrimental to adjacent tissue. The patient also suffered fewer and smaller scars, had a shorter hospital stay, experienced a reduced infection risk, and recovered quickly.
Robots have yet to be fully embraced in the mainstream healthcare industry, but research is ongoing, and there is a good chance they have a place in the future of surgery.
Mesothelioma is a strange form of cancer that has had oncologists and researchers scratching their heads for decades. However, with the above technologies, the element of mystery has been lessened, and patients can now enjoy prompt and more accurate diagnoses and treatment.