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Mesothelioma Treatment

Decades ago, mesothelioma victims had a limited number of choices when it came to treatment options. There was little known about this rare cancer, and it seemed as if medical professionals were unmotivated to find treatments for suffering patients. Worse yet, there were few doctors who even knew what the disease was.

Today, while still considered rare, there are many doctors nationwide who are considered specialist in the field of mesothelioma treatment. There is no cure for the disease, but these medical professionals see a value in finding the most advanced treatments and therapies to make patients comfortable. Cutting-edge mesothelioma management has allowed patients to live longer, more satisfying lives with the disease than in past years.

Asbestos Cancer Specialists

From coast to coast, there are doctors who specialize in mesothelioma treatment. Among the top mesothelioma doctors are those who utilize the most advanced medical treatments for the best patient care:

  • Dr. David J. Sugarbaker -- Sugarbaker, chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has taken a special interest in lung cancer and mesothelioma research. He is known as the preeminent mesothelioma specialist nationwide and has trained scores of physicians under him.
  • Dr. Harvey Pass -- As the director of the Thoracic Surgery Division at New York University (NYU) Medical Center, Pass is known for his outstanding work for early detection of mesothelioma and other cancers.
  • Dr. David Rice -- Known for research in mesothelioma, Rice is focused on improving mesothelioma survival rates. He is currently an associate professor of surgery at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s thoracic and cardiovascular surgery department.

In addition to these physicians, there are several others nationwide who have made stunning advances in the field. Many of these doctors are backed by distinguished mesothelioma cancer treatment centers that help advance the cause. The International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s mesothelioma program and the Pacific Meso Center in Los Angeles are among those cancer centers that have made remarkable strides in mesothelioma treatment.

Is There a Cure for Mesothelioma Cancer?

While there is no cure for malignant mesothelioma, there is hope for the future. Researchers are working on finding a cure for the disease and have made great advances. In the past, there were few, if any, options for mesothelioma patients. Now, many patients are offered multimodal treatment options -- chemotherapy, surgery and radiation -- that are known to ease the symptoms of the disease and allow them to live longer.

Some patients themselves have taken individual steps to redirect their future. Australian Paul Kraus was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1997 and told he had only a few months to live. After a severe diet and lifestyle change, Kraus is considered the world’s longest living mesothelioma patient. His results are not considered typical but are looked to as a beacon of hope for many patients.

Alternative Treatments and Clinical Trials

Kraus is also considered an inspiration for those who are considering Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). While not standard medical treatment, CAM treatments are commonly used alongside customary treatments to encourage healing. Among those that Kraus uses are a strict regime of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, a holistic diet and spirituality.

In addition, many mesothelioma patients are encouraged to take part in clinical trials. For some, these offer the best hope for remission. These also allow current patients to potentially change the outcome of the disease in the future.

Sources

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Physician Profile. David J. Sugarbaker. Retrieved from http://www.brighamandwomens.org/research/centers/cancer/Researchers/Sugarbaker.aspx

NYU Medical Center, Physician Profile. Harvey Pass, M.D. Retrieved from http://www.med.nyu.edu/cvsurgery/thoracic/faculty/bios/pass.html

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name? Retrieved from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam