Pleural mesothelioma surgery is a treatment option for some patients diagnosed with this aggressive cancer affecting the lining of the lungs (pleura). However, eligibility for surgery depends on various factors and typically involves a comprehensive evaluation by a specialized medical team.
Patients who might be considered eligible for pleural mesothelioma surgery often meet certain criteria:
- Early-Stage Diagnosis: Surgery is more feasible when mesothelioma is diagnosed in its early stages (Stage 1 or Stage 2) before the cancer has spread extensively.
- Overall Health and Fitness: Patients need to be in relatively good health and have sufficient lung and heart function to withstand surgery and recover from it. Pre-existing medical conditions and overall fitness are crucial considerations.
- Extent of Tumor Growth: The size, location, and extent of tumor growth within the chest cavity are assessed to determine if surgery can potentially remove a significant portion of the cancerous tissue.
- Surgical Evaluation and Opinion: Specialists, including thoracic surgeons and oncologists, evaluate the individual case to assess the potential risks and benefits of surgery based on the patient’s specific circumstances.
- Willingness of the Patient: As with any treatment, the patient’s willingness to undergo surgery and their understanding of the potential risks and benefits are essential factors in determining eligibility.
Types of surgical procedures for pleural mesothelioma may include:
- Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP): This involves removing the affected lung, portions of the lining around the lung, the diaphragm, and nearby lymph nodes.
- Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D): This surgery aims to remove the pleural lining around the lung and any visible tumors while sparing the lung itself.
Surgery is often combined with other treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.
It’s important to note that not all patients with pleural mesothelioma are candidates for surgery. Many factors, including the stage of the disease, overall health, and individual circumstances, play a role in determining the most appropriate treatment plan. Patients are encouraged to consult with a specialized medical team experienced in treating mesothelioma to discuss personalized treatment options.