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Surgeries for Mesothelioma Patients

June 19, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Cancer

Article by Michael Enfield

Like with most cancers, mesothelioma is often treated with a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. However, due to the sensitive, delicate nature of the lung tissue combined with the aggressiveness of mesothelioma, traditional lung surgery is not always the best option for pleural mesothelioma patients. There are two newer types of lung surgery that are available to help with pleural mesothelioma tumors.

First, it is important to understand that mesothelioma does not have a very high rate of recovery. Thus, most mesothelioma oncologists focus on extending the life of the patient rather than completely curing the disease. Recently, surgeries such as pleurectomy and extrapleural pneumonectomy have been found to help prolong the lives of pleural mesothelioma patients. Your doctor can help you choose a surgery based on the spread of your disease.

Mesothelioma starts in the epithelial cells lining your body, which are found around the lungs, chest cavity, heart, abdomen, and testes. If it starts in your lungs, the tumors can spread further into your lungs or into the surrounding epithelial tissue. If the mesothelioma has moved into your lungs, your doctor may consider a pleurectomy.

With a pleurectomy, surgeons open your chest and remove a portion of the diseased pleural lining or all of the lining. If the tumors have spread into the lung tissue, doctors may simultaneously remove the diseased part of the lung.

On the other hand, if the mesothelioma tumors have spread nearby, such as to the lining of the heart, you may undergo an extrapleural pneumonectomy. During this procedure, doctors completely remove the lining of the lungs as well as that of your heart and diaphragm. Sometimes, the linings can be replaced with a synthetic material.

Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer, and it is important to talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options before you choose a treatment plan. To learn more about treatment for mesothelioma, please visit the Mesothelioma Help Center today.

About the Author

Michael Enfield is a Texas-based author.

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