Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment Surgery
Surgery is not claimed to be a cure for malignant mesothelioma, so therefore it comes down to a valued judgement of whether there is a chance it will potentially extend survival time along with quality of life, significantly enough to warrant taking the risk on having it. All radical surgery has an element of risk, only the person having the surgery is in the position of making the final decision on whether to have it or not.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma it is imperative that a specialist conversant in mesothelioma be consulted, to help you work out a pathway to navigate the journey ahead.
Surgery for the treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma, other than pleurodesis, are generally thought of as being radical or aggressive surgeries, and are only deemed suitable for a very small proportion of sufferers.
Radical surgery is normally only judged as being suitable for relative fit sufferers, as the operation itself, and the recovery can be painful and lengthy. Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) radical surgery has the added trauma of the need to cut through, or stretch the protective rib cage, which adds further to the recovery period. Radical surgery for both peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma is normally carried out in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy – this is called multimodality or trimodality treatment.
A literature search [see Study #1 further down the page] of studies on the value of MPM sufferers having a Talc Pleurodesis (which is not considered to be aggressive surgery) compared to more aggressive surgeries have shown the average age of sufferers having aggressive or radical surgery to average between 57.5 years to 60.9 years. This would suggest, and backs experience that age is also an important factor in the viability of a sufferer considering having aggressive or radical surgery.
Surgery is not considered to be a cure for malignant mesothelioma, and as such a sufferer and their loved ones need to carefully weigh up the pros and cons of having surgery against quality of life factors.
When trying to decide on whether or not to undertake radical surgery, considering the time in hospital and the recuperation period after having aggressive surgeries, should be factored into the quality of life equation and the perceived benefits to be received from having aggressive surgery. It really is a decision that needs to be made on a fully informed individual basis. Please take the time to read all the information on this page and download and read the Questions to answer regarding Surgery pdf document.
“I do not believe my role is to sway people, but rather to assist people to make informed decisions. I believe the mesothelioma journey should be all about quality of life, first and foremost. But what constitutes quality of life for one person, is totally different for another. It is why I talk a lot about making informed life decisions, so at the end of any journey a person has no regrets. To this end I have compiled information on the pleurodesis surgery and radical surgery options. I have also put together a list of questions I suggest you ask a perspective surgeon prior to considering radical surgery as an option.” – Rod Smith
Before committing to any form of surgery please consider:
- The pros and cons of each particular surgery;
- The questions to ask, and get answers from, the surgeon involved; and
- What to look for and talk about before making what can only be described as a major life decision.
This page covers the following:
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery
- Pleurectomy/Decortication [P/D]
- Extra Pleural Pneumonectomy [EPP]
Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma Surgery
- Peritonectomy (also known as Cytoreductive) Surgery
- Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy
Why you should question a surgeon
Video Covering Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma and Applicable Surgeries
Analytical Studies on Malignant Mesothelioma Surgery – August 2017
- [Study #1] Review of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Survival After Talc Pleurodesis or Surgery
- [Study #2] Factors Associated With Survival In A Large Series of Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in New South Wales
- [Study #3] Long-Term Survival Outcomes of Cancer-Directed Surgery for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Point to ponder – and further reasons to question a surgeon
Supportive Care Options