Hello and welcome to our in-depth article about mesothelioma and how it is treated at Mount Sinai. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that lines the chest and abdomen. It is often caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was commonly used in building materials and other products in the past.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells, which are found in the lining of certain organs, such as the lungs, heart, and abdomen. There are three types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type and affects the lining of the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen, and pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart.
Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain and swelling, and weight loss. These symptoms can take decades to appear after exposure to asbestos, which is why mesothelioma is often diagnosed in its later stages.
Mount Sinai’s Approach to Treating Mesothelioma
Mount Sinai is a world-renowned medical center that is known for its expertise in the treatment of mesothelioma. The Mount Sinai team takes a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, which means that patients receive care from a team of specialists, including oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiologists, and pulmonologists.
Mount Sinai’s mesothelioma program offers a variety of treatment options, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The specific treatment plan that is recommended for each patient depends on several factors, including the type and stage of mesothelioma, the patient’s overall health, and their individual preferences.
The Surgical Treatment of Mesothelioma at Mount Sinai
Surgery is often the preferred treatment option for patients with mesothelioma, especially if the cancer is localized and has not spread to other areas of the body. At Mount Sinai, the surgical team uses advanced techniques to remove as much of the cancer as possible while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue.
One of the surgical treatments that is commonly used at Mount Sinai is called pleurectomy with decortication. This procedure involves removing the lining of the lung and any visible tumors, but leaving the lung itself intact. This can be an effective treatment option for patients with early-stage pleural mesothelioma.
Another surgical option is extrapleural pneumonectomy, which involves removing the affected lung, as well as the lining of the lung, the diaphragm, and the pericardium. This is a more extensive surgery, but it can be an effective option for some patients with advanced mesothelioma.
Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma at Mount Sinai
Radiation therapy is another treatment option that is used to treat mesothelioma at Mount Sinai. This involves using high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Mount Sinai uses the latest radiation technology to minimize the side effects of radiation therapy while maximizing its effectiveness.
One of the radiation therapy techniques that is used at Mount Sinai is intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which allows for more precise targeting of cancer cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This technique can be particularly effective for treating mesothelioma that has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma at Mount Sinai
Chemotherapy is another treatment option that is used to treat mesothelioma at Mount Sinai. This involves using drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. The chemotherapy drugs are typically given intravenously, which means they are delivered directly into the bloodstream.
Mount Sinai uses a variety of chemotherapy drugs to treat mesothelioma, including cisplatin and pemetrexed. These drugs can be given in combination with other treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy, to increase their effectiveness.
FAQs about Mesothelioma
|What causes mesothelioma?
|Mesothelioma is often caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was commonly used in building materials and other products in the past.
|What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
|Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain and swelling, and weight loss.
|Is mesothelioma curable?
|There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but there are a variety of treatment options that can help manage the symptoms and extend a patient’s lifespan.
|What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?
|The prognosis for mesothelioma depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and their response to treatment.
|How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
|Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed through a combination of imaging tests, such as CT scans and X-rays, and a biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of tissue for examination.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. However, there is hope for patients with mesothelioma, thanks to the advanced treatments offered at Mount Sinai. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to seek out a team of specialists who are experienced in treating this disease. With early diagnosis and the right treatment plan, many patients are able to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.