Treatment Side Effects of Mesothelioma: What You Need to Know

Dealing with mesothelioma can be a strenuous journey. From the diagnosis stage to treatment and management, it is never an easy process. One significant aspect of treatment that most people may forget to consider is the side effects that come with it. It is essential to understand these treatment side effects of mesothelioma, the symptoms, and how to manage them. This article aims to provide detailed insight into the side effects that might occur during mesothelioma treatment.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, or testicles. Exposure to asbestos causes the cancer in nearly all cases, and because of its long latency period, mesothelioma typically develops 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. There are three types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial.

What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The symptoms of mesothelioma depend on the type of cancer a patient has. Common symptoms include:

Mesothelioma Type Symptoms
Pleural Chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, unexplained weight loss, fatigue
Peritoneal Abdominal pain, swelling, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, bowel changes, bloating
Pericardial Chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue

Treatment Side Effects of Mesothelioma

There are various treatments available for mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and clinical trials. Each treatment method has its side effects, and they vary from person to person. Some common treatment side effects of mesothelioma include:


Surgery is one of the common treatment options for mesothelioma. Side effects of surgery may include:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Complications from anesthesia


Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancer cells, and it is often used to shrink or control mesothelioma tumors. Side effects of chemotherapy may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Low blood cell count

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy involves using high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Side effects of radiation therapy may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin irritation or changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing


Immunotherapy involves using drugs to help the body’s immune system fight cancer. Side effects of immunotherapy may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How to Manage Mesothelioma Treatment Side Effects?

It is essential to manage the side effects of mesothelioma treatment to ensure comfort and promote overall well-being. Here are ways to manage treatment side effects:

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating the right kind of food helps to prevent malnutrition and promote overall health. Ensure to eat nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated during treatment. This helps to prevent dehydration and maintain organ function.

Rest and Exercise

Get enough rest and sleep to promote overall well-being, and exercise regularly to maintain stamina and promote physical fitness.

Communicate with Healthcare Providers

Inform your healthcare providers of any side effects occurring during treatment, and ask for their assistance in managing them.

Use Medications

Ask your healthcare provider about medications to help alleviate side effects such as pain or nausea.

Join Support Groups

Join support groups or attend counseling sessions to help cope with the emotional and mental aspects of cancer treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mesothelioma Treatment Side Effects

How long do mesothelioma treatment side effects last?

The duration of mesothelioma treatment side effects varies from person to person, and it can last from a few days to several weeks.

Can mesothelioma treatment side effects be prevented?

Not all mesothelioma treatment side effects can be prevented, but some can be managed with the right diet and exercise.

What should I do if I am experiencing severe mesothelioma treatment side effects?

Inform your healthcare provider or seek medical care immediately if you experience severe or life-threatening side effects.

Is it normal to feel depressed or anxious during mesothelioma treatment?

It is quite normal to feel depressed or anxious during mesothelioma treatment. Join support groups or attend counseling sessions to help cope with the emotional and mental aspects of cancer treatment.

Can acupuncture help manage mesothelioma treatment side effects?

Acupuncture may help manage mesothelioma treatment side effects such as pain and nausea, but it is essential to discuss with your healthcare provider before trying any alternative therapy.

What should I do to prepare for mesothelioma treatment side effects?

Speak with your healthcare provider about the possible side effects of your treatment and how to manage them, and prepare accordingly. Have a support system in place, and make necessary arrangements for transportation and caregiving.

What are the long-term effects of mesothelioma treatment?

The long-term effects of mesothelioma treatment depend on the type of treatment received and vary from person to person. In some cases, there may be some lasting effects such as fatigue or organ damage.


Dealing with mesothelioma and its treatment can be overwhelming, but it is essential to understand the potential side effects that may occur during treatment. Eating healthy, staying hydrated, resting, and exercising, among other measures, can help manage these side effects. Always communicate with your healthcare provider, and seek help immediately if side effects are severe or life-threatening.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Reach out to support groups, family, and friends for assistance and guidance.

Closing Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Mesothelioma treatment side effects may differ from person to person, and the information provided may not apply to all cases. The author of this article and the website are not responsible for any consequences that may arise from the use of the information contained herein.