Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). Treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma typically involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation therapy. Surgery plays a crucial role in the management of peritoneal mesothelioma, and several surgical options may be considered depending on the patient’s specific circumstances and the stage of the disease. Here are some common surgical approaches used in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma:
- Cytoreductive Surgery (CRS): Cytoreductive surgery, also known as debulking surgery, is the primary surgical procedure for peritoneal mesothelioma. The goal of CRS is to remove as much of the tumor tissue as possible from the abdominal cavity. During this surgery, the surgeon may remove the peritoneal lining, along with any visible tumors, organs affected by the cancer, and nearby lymph nodes. The extent of surgery depends on the extent of disease.
- Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC): HIPEC is often performed immediately after cytoreductive surgery. In this procedure, heated chemotherapy drugs are circulated within the abdominal cavity to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent the cancer from coming back in the peritoneum. The combination of CRS and HIPEC has shown promising results in improving survival rates for some patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.
- Palliative Surgery: In cases where the cancer is advanced and extensive surgery is not an option, palliative surgery may be performed to relieve symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. This can include procedures to drain fluid buildup in the abdomen (ascites) or to alleviate bowel obstructions caused by the tumor.
It’s important to note that not all patients with peritoneal mesothelioma are candidates for aggressive surgical approaches like CRS and HIPEC. The suitability for surgery depends on various factors, including the patient’s overall health, the extent of disease, and the presence of comorbid conditions. Additionally, peritoneal mesothelioma is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, making curative surgery less feasible for some individuals.
Patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma should work closely with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists, to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include surgery, chemotherapy, and other treatments. The choice of treatment should be based on a thorough evaluation of the individual case and discussions between the patient and their medical team to determine the most appropriate approach.