Treatment for mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can be difficult to treat. It is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Most treatments aim to control the cancer for as long as possible and keep your symptoms under control. 

The treatment you might have depends on the type and stage of your mesothelioma. Some people with early stage mesothelioma have surgery. Other treatments include immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Preparing for treatment and life afterwards (prehabilitation)

There are things you can do to help you feel more in control of your physical and mental health when preparing for treatment. In the hospital, preparing for treatment is also called prehabilitation or prehab.

Treatment options for pleural mesothelioma

Treatment options for pleural mesothelioma include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Your treatment plan depends on several factors including the stage of your cancer.

Treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma

You are often diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma when it is quite advanced. Unfortunately it can be difficult to treat. Treatment options include chemotherapy and a few people might have surgery.

Immunotherapy for mesothelioma

Immunotherapy uses our immune system to fight cancer. It's a treatment for some people with pleural mesothelioma.

Chemotherapy for mesothelioma

Chemotherapy uses anti cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. It can help shrink or control mesothelioma. It is a treatment for both pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma.

Radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Radiotherapy uses high energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. You might have radiotherapy after surgery, or to reduce symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. You don't usually have radiotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma.

Surgery for mesothelioma

Surgery isn't a common treatment for mesothelioma. You might have surgery to control and relieve symptoms. The surgery might also help you live longer. 

Treatment for fluid on the lung (pleurodesis)

You might have a build up of fluid around the lung which can cause breathlessness. Pleurodesis is a treatment for this.

Follow up for mesothelioma

You have regular check up appointments after treatment for mesothelioma. This is called follow up.

Last reviewed: 
22 May 2023
Next review due: 
22 May 2026