interventions that are available to a victim of mesothelioma



Medical interventions that are available to a victim of mesothelioma. Hi. I’m Daniel Smith. I’m a mesothelioma trial attorney in New York City, and I can tell you having represented many mesothelioma victims over the years, the first way a mesothelioma victim conclusively finds out that they have mesothelioma is from a pleural biopsy.


So what is the pleura and how does it relate to mesothelioma? the pleura — it’s often described as a saran wrap layer on the outside of the lungs. And there’s the visceral pleura, which is attached (almost adherent) to the lung itself. And when a biopsy is taken, it is done surgically. And really the most common surgical technique to obtain a pleural biopsy is through a video assisted thoracoscopy (VAT).

Doctors often call it a VATs. And in this procedure it’s done — think of an arthroscopic procedure – it’s a minimally invasive procedure in which instruments are inserted into the chest and one of the instruments has a camera.

And the other instruments are there as well to do things like take a biopsy. And a biopsy is taken of this pleural surface. Another way that a biopsy can be taken is through an open procedure which is called a thoracotomy. Now both of these are surgical techniques, done in an operating room under general anesthesia at the hospital. The thoracotomy and the video assisted thoracoscopy (or the VATs) are generally diagnostic procedures.


The Mesothelioma prognosis often is bad, so is very important to take action quickly when the results are positives

In order to attempt to treat a mesothelioma victim, surgeons often will discuss various surgical options with the victim and their family. And the first possible surgical procedure that can be offered to a mesothelioma patient is something called a pleurectomy. And what that means is that the surgeons actually attempt through surgical technique to remove the pleura from the lung. Because again, the pleura in a mesothelioma case, the pleura is where the tumor is growing. So the thought is that the removal of the pleura will remove the tumor. An attempt is made to do that surgically.

Another surgical option that doctors will sometimes discuss with their patients is what’s called an extrapleural pneumonectomy. Doctors sometimes refer to it as an EPP. And in an extrapleural pneumonectomy, which is a very serious and very involved procedure, the entire lung is removed. And we can function with one lung but in this procedure the entire lung is removed in an attempt to deal with the mesothelioma tumor.

Other medical interventions that are offered to victims of mesothelioma include chemotherapy. And for mesothelioma, there’s a very specific cocktail of medicines that is offered and it varies from patient to patient. But it’s a specific cocktail usually of two different drugs that are combined in an attempt to deal with the mesothelioma tumor through chemotherapy. It’s administered usually every 3 weeks and often the administration of one dose of chemotherapy can take from hours to an entire day. And the number of cycles of chemotherapy varies from patient to patient but it’s usually 4 cycles or more.

Another option that sometimes is offered to a mesothelioma victims — depending upon whether or not they underwent surgery — is radiation. And radiation for mesothelioma is usually a focused beam of radiation which is administrated usually every day for a period of many days (sometimes up to a month). Now those are the most common techniques used by surgeons and physicians and oncologists (that’s cancer doctors) to treat mesothelioma.

I’m sure you have many more questions about mesothelioma and the different treatments that are available to the victims of mesothelioma and we can answer your questions.

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