NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2014
What is supportive care?
For most patients with cancer, their main concern
is that treatment works. However, having cancer is
complex and brings many physical and emotional
challenges. It is important to know about these
challenges and get the support you need.
Supportive care is treatment given to relieve
the symptoms of mesothelioma, side effects of
mesothelioma treatment, and other health issues
related to the cancer. This section explains some
of the challenges you may face as well as ways to
manage them with supportive care. See
Conditions for supportive care
Pleural effusion is the buildup of extra fluid in the
pleural cavity. This can result in shortness of breath
and make it hard to breathe. A pleural catheter can be
used to drain the fluid buildup. Another treatment is
talc pleurodesis. Talc pleurodesis involves putting talc
powder into the pleural cavity. The powder irritates
the tissue and causes the two layers of pleura to grow
together while healing. This seals the pleural cavity
and stops fluid buildup. It is important that a PET/
CT scan is done before talc pleurodesis because
talc causes pleural inflammation, which can look like
cancer on the scan.
Chest pain may be caused by cancer growing into
the chest wall. Radiation therapy may be used to
ease chest pain. However, there are other ways to
manage chest pain such as with pain medications or
chemotherapy. For more information about chest pain
and management, talk to your treatment team.
38 What is supportive care?
38 Conditions for supportive care
39 Websites | Review
Chart 8. Conditions for supportive care
Smoking cessation, and