Yes, mesothelioma surgery can be a part of treatment and can potentially extend survival for some patients. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells, usually in the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, or heart. The disease is commonly linked to asbestos exposure.
Surgery is one of the treatment options available for mesothelioma, especially in cases where the cancer is detected in its early stages and hasn’t spread extensively. The goal of surgery is typically to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible, aiming to alleviate symptoms and potentially prolong survival.
Different types of surgeries for mesothelioma include:
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): This surgery involves removing the affected lung, part of the diaphragm, nearby lymph nodes, and sometimes the pericardium (lining around the heart). It’s generally performed for pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lung lining).
- Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D): This procedure involves removing the lining around the lung (pleura) affected by cancer but leaves the lung itself intact. It’s a lung-sparing surgery and may be an option for some patients with pleural mesothelioma.
- Peritonectomy: This surgery may be performed for peritoneal mesothelioma (affecting the abdomen) and involves removing the lining of the abdominal cavity where the cancer is present.
It’s important to note that not all mesothelioma patients are candidates for surgery, as it depends on various factors such as the stage of cancer, overall health, and the extent of the disease. Additionally, surgery is often used in combination with other treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy to improve outcomes.
Survival rates can vary significantly among individuals, and surgery alone might not cure mesothelioma. However, in some cases, surgery combined with other therapies can lead to extended survival and improved quality of life for mesothelioma patients.
Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma should consult with a specialized medical team experienced in treating this condition to determine the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to their specific situation.