Pleural mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer. It is a cancer of the pleura, the protective lining of the lungs, and it is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. It is not curable, and patients who are diagnosed have an average life expectancy between 14 and 22 months.
Yet, early detection and diagnosis are the keys to living longer with mesothelioma. Patients who receive an early diagnosis are able to undergo different treatment options. These treatment options can improve their life expectancy.
Since mesothelioma is not curable, the treatment options aim to provide patients with a better quality of life. If treatment for mesothelioma begins in the first or second stages, patients can live almost twice as long. But what treatment options are the best?
Over the last two decades, mesothelioma patients did better undergoing one type of surgery: lung-sparing pleurectomy and decortication (P/D approach). Radical surgeries were harder on mesothelioma patients, leading to more complications. As such, the P/D approach is the preferred surgery for mesothelioma patients whenever possible.
Comparing the Two Types of Mesothelioma Surgeries
A recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal compared short-term and long-term outcomes for the two most common surgeries for pleural mesothelioma. These two surgeries were the P/D approach and the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). They reviewed outcomes from thousands of surgeries between 1999 and 2018 across the world.
Aggressive surgery is part of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. However, most mesothelioma patients are not candidates. Less than 30% actually qualify for aggressive surgery. When the tumor has spread too far, surgery is no longer an option.
The goal of both types of surgeries is to extend survival and improve symptoms. To do this, part or all of the tumors need to be removed. This may involve removing the lung or part of the lung. In EPP surgery, the surgeon removes an entire lung and the lining around it. The surgeon also removes some of the diaphragm and surrounding lymph nodes.
In the P/D approach, a surgeon removes the visible tumor cells in the lungs and chest cavity and the pleural lining of the lung. The lung is not removed.
When these two surgeries were compared, the results found that mesothelioma patients did better after a P/D surgery than after the EPP surgery. The 30-day mortality rate was higher with the EPP surgery, and the median overall survival was significantly decreased. In addition, postoperative complications and infections were greater after EPP surgery.
Since patients did not do any better after the more aggressive and radical EPP surgery, doctors believe that there is little reason to put mesothelioma patients through such trauma. The P/D surgical approach offers mesothelioma patients improvement without such increased risk.
To learn more about your treatment options, it is important to consult with your doctor and oncologist. In addition, your mesothelioma lawyer can help you file a claim during this time to help pay for your medical expenses and care you need. No matter how aggressive or far along your mesothelioma is, you deserve the utmost care. Let an experienced mesothelioma lawyer fight for you during this difficult time.
Has Your Loved One Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma? We Can Help!
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should consider speaking to a Louisiana personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Without an attorney on your side, you may not be able to obtain the compensation you deserve after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Landry & Swarr is a New Orleans personal injury law firm with a focus on mesothelioma. We have become staunch legal advocates for numerous Louisiana clients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you or a family member feel that you may have contracted mesothelioma due to contact with asbestos, call 504-299-1214 and speak to one of our attorneys about your legal options.