SYMPTOMS OF MESOTHELIOMA VIDEO

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Mesothelioma Palliative Procedures

Mesothelioma Palliative Procedures

Palliative surgical procedures are those which treat a symptom of mesothelioma, without aggressively treating the disease itself.

Chest Tube Drainage and Pleurodesis is considered the most common of palliative treatments. Fluid build-up, or pleural effusion, is most often the first symptoms of mesothelioma which will prompt mesothelioma patients to seek medical attention. Once this effusion has occurred, it is many times persistent, returning rapidly after initial thoracentesis (draining of the fluid). In order to eliminate this problem, the pleural space must be closed. This is accomplished by use of a talc slurry or other sclerosing agent which produces an adhesion.

Thoracoscopy and Pleurodesis is done in conjunction with VATS using a powdered form of talc versus talc slurry. Both this and chest tube drainage and pleurodesis will be only effective if there is no tumor encasing the lung which restricts its expansion.

Pleuroperitoneal Shunt plays a limited role in palliation for several reasons. It involves placement of a catheter run under the skin from the pleural to the peritoneal cavity. Obstruction of the catheter and possible seeding of the tumor into the abdominal cavity may be concerns.

Pleurectomy, used as a palliative procedure, may be performed where more extensive surgery is not an option. In these cases, it is understood that all visible or gross tumor will not be removed. It is considered the most effective means of controlling pleural effusion in cases where the lung's expansion is restricted by disease.
symptom of mesothelioma,

Potentially Curative Procedures for Mesothelioma

Potentially Curative Procedures for Mesothelioma

These procedures are performed with "curative intent". Their goal is removal of all gross disease, with the knowledge that microscopic disease will most likely remain. Adjuvant therapy (another form of treatment in addition to the primary therapy) is typically aimed at eliminating residual disease.

For Pleural Mesothelioma:

* Pleurectomy/Decortication is usually performed on patients with early stage disease (Stage I and selected Stage II), and attempts to remove all gross tumor. If it is found that all tumor can not be removed without removing the lung, this may be done at the same time and is called pneumonectomy.
* Extrapleural Pneumonectomy is considerably more radical than other surgical approaches, and should be carried out by surgeons with great expertise in evaluating patients and performing the procedure itself. (See Finding Specialists.) Because in the past surgery alone has failed to effect a cure, or even to help prolong life for any extended period of time, it is currently being combined with traditional chemotherapy and/or radiation, or other new approaches such as gene therapy, immunotherapy or photodynamic therapy.


General Patient Selection Criteria for Extrapleural Pneumonectomy

Extrapleural pneumonectomy is a serious operation, and doctors experienced in this procedure choose their patients carefully. It is up to each individual surgeon to advise the patient on its feasibility and to conduct whatever tests he/she feel are necessary to optimize the patient's chances for survival and recovery. Following is a general list of patient selection criteria. This list may not be all inclusive, and may vary according to the preference of the surgeon.
o Karnofsky Performance Status score of >70. This score relates to what symptoms of disease the patient may be experiencing and how well they are able to conduct their daily activities. Some surgeons may require a higher performance status than others.

o Adequate renal (kidney) and liver function tests; no significant kidney or liver disease.
o Normal cardiac function per electrocardiogram and echocardiography.
o Adequate pulmonary function to tolerate the surgery.
o Disease limited to the ipsilateral hemithorax (the same side of the chest in which the
mesothelioma is located) with no penetration of the diaphragm, extension to the heart or extensive involvement of the chest wall.
o Age of the patient is taken into consideration, but may not be as important as their overall status.

Surgeries of this nature should always be done with a complete understanding of the possible benefits and risks involved. If you are considering surgery as a treatment option, speak openly with your doctor about your concerns, and be sure all of your questions are answered to your satisfaction.

For Peritoneal Mesothelioma:

* Cytoreductive Surgery is aimed at removing all or nearly all of the gross or visible tumor in the peritoneal cavity. In order to treat any remaining cancer cells, Intra-Peritoneal Hyperthermic (heated) Chemotherapy (IPHC) is then delivered to the abdominal cavity. The type of chemotherapy drug used may vary according to the physician’s preference. Click here for more on treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma.