What are the two main potentially curative surgeries for treating Pleural Mesothelioma?
Potentially curative surgery may be an option if your general state of health is good and the tumor has not advanced and spread beyond the primary location. However, mesothelioma cells tend to spr...
However, mesothelioma cells tend to spread into the chest wall, around the heart, over nerves, and the diaphragm. It is often difficult to detect this spread and remove all these cells. Because of this, doctors do not often agree on the exact role of surgery. In most cases it is not likely to cure you but may extend your life. Still, potentially curative surgery is being done in some major cancer centers, and a few patients who have had the surgery have had long remissions of their disease.
Two potentially curative surgical procedures that can be carried out if you have pleural mesothelioma are:
This is an extensive operation that attempts to remove all or most of the cancer and some surrounding tissues as well. It is most often used in patients with localized mesothelioma of the epithelioid type, when there is a theoretical chance of a cure. The operation involves the removal of the pleura lining the chest wall, diaphragm, and pericardium, as well as the whole lung on the side of the tumor. The diaphragm and the pericardium are then reconstructed with man-made materials. This is a difficult operation and is done only by few highly skilled surgeons in large medical centers. You must be in good overall health with good lung function and no other serious illnesses to tolerate this surgery. Major complications occur in about 25% of people who undergo this operation.
Pleurectomy/decortication is a less extensive operation. This procedure removes the pleura, where the majority of the tumor is located. While it may be used to try to cure some cancers, it is more often used as a palliative procedure to relieve symptoms in cases where the entire tumor cannot be removed. It can help control the buildup of fluid, improve breathing, and decrease pain caused by the cancer.
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