Once you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, you can start taking positive steps toward taking care of yourself. You’ll have conversations with your doctor about what mesothelioma treatment options are worth pursuing, and after that, there will be other questions to deal with: How can I plan ahead financially? How am I going to cope with such devastating news? What can I do to make sure my loved ones are cared for?
Of course, there’s one important question that cannot be overlooked: Is my treatment working?
With the help of the Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons, Greenwood, Oberman, Satterley & Bosl Foundation, a team of scientists from the University of Chicago found a way to use CT scanning to keep track of patients’ mesothelioma prognoses. This is an important step in steering the course of an individual’s treatment, and figuring out the best way to support a good quality of life.
How do CT scans work?
When you’re sick, sometimes the best way for doctors to know what’s wrong with you is to take pictures of the inside of your body. This can be done with x-rays. CT scans combine x-rays with sophisticated computer technology, which allows doctors to examine your organs in greater detail.
CT scans are noninvasive, but they do expose you to radiation. However, depending on what kind of pictures the doctors need, they can actually adjust how much radiation they use.
When it comes to different malignant diseases that affect the organs of the chest cavity, doctors can use CT scans to visualize the borders of tumors.
What does the new research say about CT scans?
Because of the amount of detail that CT scans can provide, scientists from the University of Chicago wanted to see if this form of radiology would be useful in monitoring the progress of mesothelioma. They discovered that increases in disease volume, as seen in segmented pictures, are associated with poor a poor mesothelioma prognosis.
Here’s what experts had to say in Pathways to Discovery, a publication from the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center:
“These results demonstrate that continuous measurements of disease volume are prognostically significant in patients with mesothelioma. This study is complementary to the team’s work on correlating CT measurements of tumor thickness with patient survival.”
It’s important to know whether a particular treatment is working. This will inform your decision about whether to pursue alternative treatments or stay the course. Also, you can weigh your options about taking advantage of palliative care, or starting hospice care. All of these factors are tied to quality of life, because ultimately, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of life, and that your treatments are worth any potential side effects.
What else is science telling us?
The scientists who completed this work are grateful for the generosity and support of the mesothelioma lawyer team behind Kazan Law Firm’s Foundation. The professionals from this team are big supporters of scientific research.
That’s why they backed several major projects that were presented at the International Mesothelioma Interest Group meeting in 2012. Among these projects were experiments to control the genes associated with mesothelioma, and boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer.
As a 25-year paralegal for Kazan Law, Jackie Douglas supports and guides her clients and their family members through the trial process. Her daily commute takes her past shipyards, factories and refineries much like where her clients used to work.