Reading Time: 13 mins
Last Edited On: 02/16/2024

Written by Sean Marchese, MS, RNEdited By Walter Pacheco

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com rigorously vets mesothelioma specialists.

How We Choose Top Doctors

  • Practice at the top cancer centers in the United States.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Develop treatment plans tailored for each patient.
  • Research new treatments in clinical trials.
  • Publish mesothelioma studies in medical and scientific journals.

Another reason these mesothelioma doctors are selected: They know the unique challenges facing families and caregivers of mesothelioma patients. They offer the best support resources to ease the burden on loved ones.

How Can a Mesothelioma Doctor Help?

The best doctors have spent years treating patients with mesothelioma cancer. This experience makes mesothelioma doctors the best choice for treating this rare cancer. A family doctor or general oncologist may never encounter asbestos-related cancers. 

Mesothelioma doctors also provide second opinions that may extend patients’ lives. Other doctors lack specialized experience. They may not offer the same level of care. We use their unique experience to develop the criteria you and your family need to choose the best mesothelioma specialist.

Find a Specialist Near You

Don’t see your state? Find out how our Doctor Match program can help.

Top-Rated Pleural Mesothelioma Doctors

Pleural mesothelioma doctors diagnose and treat the pleural form of this cancer. Some pleural doctors are oncologists. They may prescribe chemotherapy to treat tumors in the chest cavity. Others are thoracic surgeons who will remove tumors from the pleura or lungs.

Dr. Robert B. Cameron
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic Surgery
Pleurectomy and Decortication Clinical Trials
Los Angeles, California
Dr. Marcelo DaSilva
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic Surgery
Pleural mesothelioma Robotic surgery Heated chemotherapy Chest Reconstruction
Orlando, Florida
Dr. Raja Michael Flores
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic Surgery
Pleural Mesothelioma Pleurectomy and Decortication Surgery Lung Cancer VATS Lobectomy Thoracotomy Clinical Research
New York, New York
Dr. Jacques Fontaine
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic Surgery
Pleural Mesothelioma Lung Cancer Thoracic Diseases Minimally Invasive Surgery Pleurectomy and Decortication Surgery
Tampa, Florida
Dr. R. Taylor Ripley
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic Surgery
Pleurectomy and Decortication Extrapleural Pneumonectomy
Houston, Texas
Dr. Anne Tsao
Pleural Specialist
Medical Oncology
Immunotherapy Clinical Research
Houston, Texas
Dr. Jeffrey Velotta
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic Surgery
Pleural Mesothelioma Lung Cancer Cardiothoracic Surgery Cardiac Surgery Surgical Oncology
Oakland, California
Dr. Andrea Wolf
Pleural Specialist
Thoracic Surgery
Mesothelioma Lung Cancer Esophageal Cancer Thoracic Surgery Video-Assisted Surgery Laparoscopic Surgery
New York, New York

Top-Rated Peritoneal Mesothelioma Doctors

Peritoneal mesothelioma doctors specialize in the abdominal form of this cancer. They treat tumors that affect digestion and metabolism. Surgery with heated chemotherapy, or HIPEC, can improve the prognosis for peritoneal patients.

Dr. W. Charles Conway
Peritoneal Specialist
Peritoneal Surface Malignancies
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Thoracic Diseases Cytoreductive Surgery HIPEC
Santa Barbara, California
Dr. J.F. Pingpank Jr.
Peritoneal Specialist
Surgical Oncology
HIPEC Research
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
Peritoneal Specialist
Gastrointestinal Oncology
Immunotherapy Research
Chicago, Illinois
Dr. Sophie Dessureault
Peritoneal Specialist
Surgery
Cytoreductive Surgery HIPEC
Tampa, Florida
Dr. Daniel M. Labow
Peritoneal Specialist
Surgical Oncology
Cytoreductive Surgery HIPEC
Danbury, Connecticut
Dr. Mecker Moller
Peritoneal Specialist
Surgical Oncology
Cytoreductive Surgery HIPEC
Chicago, Illinois

How to Choose the Best Mesothelioma Doctor

Experience, hospital affiliation and availability are critical when choosing your mesothelioma doctor. As a family member or caregiver, you want the best care for your loved one. You should also feel comfortable and supported by the doctor of your choice. 

How do you determine what’s most important in a mesothelioma doctor? Everyone’s priorities are different. The following aspects are worth considering when choosing a mesothelioma doctor.

  • Access to Clinical Trials
    Top mesothelioma doctors often perform research alongside standard treatment. Your doctor should know about new or experimental treatments for your diagnosis. Clinical trials offer more opportunities for beneficial therapies.
  • Availability
    Choosing a mesothelioma doctor also means finding one available for rapid treatment. Your doctor should be able to provide care when you need it. Ask about virtual visits, phone consultations and support services in emergencies.
  • Experience and Expertise
    A specialist has spent years learning about this rare cancer. A general oncologist’s skills can’t compare. The Mesothelioma Center only highlights renowned specialists who have excelled in their field.
  • Hospital Affiliations
    A top specialist should have access to the best resources. Ask your doctor whether they have privileges at the cancer center you prefer. Consider the staff, equipment and clinical trials available. You should also feel safe and welcome at each visit.
  • Insurance Coverage
    Top mesothelioma specialists work with Medicare and most private insurance companies. Patient Advocates will confirm your provider’s coverage for your chosen doctor and treatment center.
  • Support Staff
    Caregivers understand that mesothelioma care is not a one-person job. When choosing a doctor, you also receive care from their whole team. Your doctor should work with a dietitian, physical therapist and other professionals.

We know insurance coverage and quality care close to home are priorities. Patients and caregivers can rely on our network of doctors to help with these concerns.

Choosing a mesothelioma doctor may be one of the most critical decisions of your life. You can find relief and peace of mind when you select a specialist and health care team you trust. 

When to Find a Mesothelioma Doctor

Knowing when to start your search is critical in finding a mesothelioma specialist. Take note when your doctor mentions you may have an asbestos-related illness. That is the time to find a specialist.

Many patients are unaware of the past asbestos exposure that led to their cancer. Mesothelioma symptoms mimic several common illnesses. Most people had never heard of mesothelioma until their diagnosis.

If you know of previous asbestos exposure, inform your primary care physician. The information could lead to a faster mesothelioma or lung cancer diagnosis.

The most important qualities to look for in a mesothelioma doctor are a passion for their work, compassion for their patients and good communication skills. When your life is on the line, you want a competent doctor who cares.
Michael Cole
Pleural Mesothelioma Survivor

Getting Help Finding the Right Doctor for You

We know cancer takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Our teams have connected patients and families with the best resources for over a decade. We want to ensure you have access to all the support you need to get through this challenging time.

In 2022, our Mesothelioma Patient Advocates achieved significant milestones:

  • They added 28 new mesothelioma specialists to our network. Our surgeons, researchers and asbestos experts work at reputable, award-winning hospitals.
  • They attended seven national and international mesothelioma conferences. Our PAs stay up to date on the latest research, practices and treatments to recommend to patients.
  • They scheduled 125 appointments for patients, including second opinions and virtual visits. Our doctor network gets patients in the office faster to start treatment.

The Mesothelioma Center can match you with one of more than 500 experienced mesothelioma specialists. These specialists can provide a range of treatment options based on your diagnosis. They are board-certified, communicate with care and have strong support teams.

Dr. Jacques Fontaine and Dr. Virginia Wolf
Connect with Your Specialist
Get help finding doctors who specialize in mesothelioma treatment.

Types of Mesothelioma Specialists

Types of mesothelioma specialists include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, pulmonologists and pathologists. Each type of specialist is an expert in their field but works on a team with others. Together, they develop the best treatment plans for each patient.

  • Medical Oncologist
    A medical oncologist specializes in conventional therapies such as chemotherapy. These specialists often work in research centers throughout the country.
  • Radiation Oncologists and Radiologists
    A radiation oncologist develops a radiation therapy plan. These specialists determine the necessary radiation delivery method and dosage levels.
  • Thoracic and General Surgeons
    A thoracic surgeon operates on the chest. A skilled surgeon reduces tumor mass to improve symptoms or extend life expectancy. They specialize in the lungs, heart, esophagus and diaphragm.
  • Pulmonologist
    A pulmonologist is an expert in lung disease. They assist in the diagnosis and treatment of pleural patients. They also prescribe breathing exercises to compensate for lost lung function.
  • Pathologist
    A pathologist studies tissue samples from a biopsy under a microscope. Tumor cells determine whether a patient has mesothelioma or another cancer. Pathologists use this information to diagnose mesothelioma.
  • Palliative Care Specialist
    A palliative care specialist helps control symptoms in cancer patients. These experts understand how to manage cancer-related pain and treatment side effects. This type of care can improve quality of life.
We need all the positive support we can get, especially from our doctor. Trust comes from good communication and a willingness to place our confidence in them to do their job.
Michael Cole
Pleural Mesothelioma Survivor

How to Prepare for the Initial Visit With Your Mesothelioma Doctor

Prepare for your first visit with a mesothelioma doctor by organizing your notes. Bring your medical documents, a list of questions you’d like to ask and a willingness to communicate. The first appointment with a specialist can be overwhelming. A little preparation can reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Be honest and open: Communicating honestly and openly with the specialist is essential. Answer their questions truthfully, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or express your concerns. They should take the time to listen and express empathy.
  • Bring a list of medications: List all the drugs and supplements you are currently taking, including dosages. The list should include over-the-counter medications as well.
  • Bring someone with you: Having a family member or friend accompany you to the appointment can be helpful. They can take notes, provide emotional support and ask questions you may forget.
  • Organize your medical records: If you have any medical records related to your cancer diagnosis, bring them. Include test results, biopsy reports and imaging studies. Organizing them by test date or exam type is helpful for some patients.
  • Share your medical history: Prepare your medical history in advance. Be sure to include any past surgeries, treatments and illnesses. Occupational history or date of asbestos exposure is also helpful for asbestos-related cancer.
  • Use a notebook and pen: Take notes during the appointment to help you remember what you discussed. You can use these notes to ask questions on your next visit. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to repeat or spell out any information.
  • Write down your questions: Before the appointment, write down a list of questions you have for the specialist. Ask your family, friends or caretaker any questions they think might be necessary to ask. A list can ensure that you discuss everything with your doctor.

Remember, the first appointment is only the beginning of your journey. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or clarification throughout the process. You don’t have to decide anything that day. Your doctor will ensure you begin mesothelioma treatment as soon as possible.

Questions to Ask Your Mesothelioma Doctor

Ask your doctor as many questions as possible. They will help you understand your condition and treatment options. Some questions to ask a mesothelioma specialist include the following:

  • What is the stage and location of my mesothelioma?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the benefits and risks of each treatment option?
  • How will treatment affect my daily life, such as work and family obligations?
  • What is the expected treatment outcome?
  • What are the side effects of treatment, and how can I manage them?
  • How often will I need to come in for follow-up appointments and scans?
  • What is the expected timeline for treatment, and when will I know if it is working?

The more information you have, the better you can make informed decisions about your care. Ask your doctor to explain in more detail if you need help understanding something.

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Common Questions About Mesothelioma Doctors

What is the difference between a mesothelioma specialist and other oncologists?

Mesothelioma doctors spend years specializing in diagnosing and treating this rare cancer. A specialist can access the latest treatment methods. They can also offer clinical trials that may improve life expectancy. General oncologists may never encounter mesothelioma.

How important is the cancer center or hospital where the doctor works?

A top hospital provides the necessary resources for your treatment. It also has the staff and personnel who assist your physician. A treatment center should be reputable with a positive history of treating mesothelioma.

What types of doctors can provide a second opinion on a mesothelioma diagnosis?

A mesothelioma specialist can provide a second opinion about your diagnosis. This type of doctor includes oncologists, surgeons and radiologists. They’ll offer treatment suggestions other doctors may not consider. Second opinions may also improve your chances of joining a clinical trial.

Can mesothelioma specialists recommend clinical trials?

Yes. A mesothelioma specialist is the best source for learning about a clinical trial. Your specialist will tell you about open clinical trials for your diagnosis. Some are only for patients who have yet to receive treatment. Some are for those who have run out of other treatment options. Sometimes you may need to travel to take part in a clinical trial.

How do mesothelioma doctors determine the right treatment plan for me?

A mesothelioma doctor considers your treatment based on your cancer. They’ll note cancer progression, medical and treatment history, and tumor cell type. They’ll also deliberate on the best approach with other mesothelioma experts.

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