Notable Mesothelioma Cancer Centers
It takes cutting-edge technology, innovative research and a multidisciplinary team of doctors who have dedicated part of their career to mesothelioma to be considered a specialty mesothelioma treatment center.
Cancer centers that specialize in mesothelioma are among the best health facilities in the world.
According to the 2017 issue of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for Cancer, several mesothelioma cancer centers made the national list. These include programs at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic and UCLA Medical Center.
Picking the right cancer treatment center might be the most important medical decision you can make. Don’t take it lightly. Do your homework to find the best fit for you. Or you can lean on us for help, and we’ll walk you through it.
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630 W 168th St. New York, NY 10032Get In Contact
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Top Treatment Centers for Pleural Mesothelioma
A team of experts and a focus on clinical research is necessary to properly treat pleural mesothelioma. The following cancer centers feature some of the nation’s leading experts in pleural mesothelioma. They provide patient-focused care and sponsor the latest mesothelioma clinical trials.
Top Treatment Centers for Peritoneal Mesothelioma
The facilities on this list offer the life-extending hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) procedure combined with surgery. It revolutionized standard of care for people with peritoneal mesothelioma. Not all cancer centers have the equipment to perform this procedure. Half of patients who qualify for this treatment strategy live longer than five years.
Importance of Choosing a Mesothelioma Specialty Center
The rarity of mesothelioma in comparison to many other cancers is what makes a specialist so hard to find. Around 3,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. Most doctors rarely see it and don’t understand it fully. A mesothelioma-focused specialist does.
These centers also offer a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care. This means a team of doctors specializing in different areas of medicine meet regularly to discuss your care. Oncologists at these centers collaborate with other specialists, such as surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and palliative care doctors. This allows them to offer the most comprehensive cancer care possible.
Mesothelioma Is Often Misdiagnosed
Too often with mesothelioma, patients are initially misdiagnosed. They begin treatment for a surface-level symptom or a problem they don’t have. Many of the first symptoms of mesothelioma mimic and can be confused with less serious illnesses. This is why an individual’s history of asbestos exposure should be communicated early to a physician who understands it.
Mesothelioma Requires Specialized Treatment
Surgeries, chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments can be part of a multimodal treatment approach. The best treatments today for this cancer are specialized. It is no longer a one-size-fits-all regimen. A decade ago, the prognosis for a mesothelioma patient usually meant six to 12 months to live. Specialized treatment centers are extending more lives beyond that prognosis.
The Right Care Can Extend Your Life
Some people live for five years or more with the disease. Many of the specialized centers have patients who have lived for 10 years and still are going strong with specialized proper care. Although no cure has been found, there is a belief that mesothelioma one day will be treated like a chronic illness.
How to Choose the Right Cancer Center
Research Top Doctors
Mesothelioma should be treated by an oncologist. However, not all cancer doctors are mesothelioma specialists. It is important to work with a doctor with experience treating asbestos-related cancers.
Decide on a Treatment Strategy
In general, the treatment for mesothelioma is much like the treatment for other cancers. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the most common treatments. Asbestos-related cancers have no cure. Doctors often point patients to emerging therapies and clinical trials for the latest treatments such as immunotherapy. Mesothelioma cancer centers tend to offer more mesothelioma clinical trials than other facilities.
Consider Treatment Costs and Other Expenses
There’s no getting around the fact that treating cancer is costly. Even with the best insurance plans, families can go through a financial crisis to make sure that loved ones get the prescribed treatments that could save lives or buy wanted time with family and friends. The cost of traveling to a specialized cancer center is a major concern for many families. According to a November 2016 study, Medicare patients without supplemental health insurance spend 23 percent of their income on cancer care.
Need Money for Treatment?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may qualify for financial assistance.Get Help Now
VA Hospitals and Mesothelioma Treatment
Many veterans were exposed to asbestos during their time in the military and later developed related diseases. Although their military history makes them eligible for treatment at VA hospitals, that doesn’t mean there aren’t choices to make. The VA has hospitals to choose from that specialize in mesothelioma treatment.
Once in the VA health care system, a veteran can seek treatment anywhere in the country. They only need a referral to receive specialized care.
Abraham Lebenthal, M.D. Surgeon at VA Boston Healthcare System and former Israeli infantry commander
“The most important thing is, if a patient trusts me, if they believe in me, at the end of the day, we’re going to a really big battle together. The stakes are pretty darn high. If you don’t believe in the person you’re going to battle with, if you’re not comfortable with him, then you should go with someone else.”
Surgeon at VA Boston Healthcare System and former Israeli infantry commander
Lebenthal specializes in mesothelioma and veterans issues. His own military background plays a role in that interest. Because veterans are disproportionately affected — approximately one-third of all mesothelioma lawsuits in this country are filed by veterans — he has encouraged all veterans with the disease to find him.
The mesothelioma program in Boston often can arrange free or discounted housing. For many veterans, the biggest cost is the travel. There also are charitable organizations that can help.
“This is not a knock on anyone, but mesothelioma is so complex, and its care so specialized, that a patient really needs the best care in the world,” Lebenthal said. “We’re in a unique position to offer that.”
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Last Modified January 3, 2019
3 Cited Article Sources
Narang, A.K. and Nicholas, L.H. (2017, June 1). Out-of-Pocket Spending and Financial Burden Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Cancer.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27893028
Cancer.net. (2017, July). Mesothelioma: Statistics.
Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/mesothelioma/statistics
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Asbestos and Mesothelioma. Retrieved from: https://www.boston.va.gov/services/surgical/Asbestos_and_Mesothelioma.asp