Top Mesothelioma Doctors

The best mesothelioma doctors have achieved nationwide recognition. Some are leading the latest research, while others are innovating new procedures that help patients live longer. These doctors have the most expertise to offer.

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Dr. Andrea Wolf
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Andrea Wolf is a thoracic surgeon and director of the Women’s Lung Cancer Program at Mount Sinai in New York. She received training under mesothelioma treatment pioneer Dr. David Sugarbaker and specializes in minimally invasive and multidisciplinary techniques.

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
Oncologist

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler is the director of the Mesothelioma Program at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She became a leading mesothelioma researcher and oncologist after losing her father to mesothelioma. Kindler is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine, and she specializes in gastrointestinal oncology.

Dr. Robert B. Cameron
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Robert B. Cameron developed a lung-sparing surgery for pleural mesothelioma that not only extends survival but offers greater quality of life by preserving the lung. Cameron’s surgery has a lower risk of complications and studies report longer survival times.

Dr. Marcelo DaSilva
Thoracic Surgeon
Dr. Marcelo DaSilva is medical director of thoracic surgery at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute, where he has built the Mesothelioma International Treatment Program.
Dr. Anne Tsao
Medical Oncologist

Dr. Anne Tsao is the director of the Mesothelioma Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She specializes in medical oncology for mesothelioma and serves as a team leader for a multidisciplinary team of mesothelioma experts.

Dr. Raja Michael Flores
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Raja Michael Flores is a professor and chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Flores is a widely respected expert in pleural mesothelioma and is a recognized leader in the field of thoracic surgery for pioneering video-assisted surgical techniques for lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Dr. Jacques Fontaine
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Jacques Fontaine is the Director of the Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He specializes in minimally invasive thoracic surgery including robotic surgery. Fontaine became a pleural mesothelioma specialist while studying under Dr. Sugarbaker at the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Dr. R. Taylor Ripley
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. R. Taylor Ripley is the director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and he was selected by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker to fulfill the role. Ripley specializes in pleural mesothelioma, minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery.

Dr. Raphael Bueno
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Raphael Bueno is the Division of Thoracic Surgery chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and director of the renowned International Mesothelioma Program.

Dr. Jeffrey Velotta
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Jeffrey Velotta is a thoracic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, serving pleural mesothelioma patients on the West Coast. He is board certified in general, thoracic and cardiac surgery, and he trained under renowned mesothelioma specialist Dr. David Sugarbaker.

Dr. Daniel M. Labow
Surgical Oncologist
Surgeon Dr. Daniel M. Labow is an advocate of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, and started the HIPEC program at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
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What Is a Mesothelioma Doctor?

A mesothelioma doctor is an expert in treating this rare cancer. They can be surgeons, radiologists or other professionals who treat mesothelioma cancer

Unlike general oncologists, they know the best therapies for asbestos-related illnesses. These doctors stay current with the latest research. You should see a mesothelioma specialist as soon as possible after asbestos exposure. They know the early signs of the disease, even if you’re unsure of your asbestos history. Early detection leads to better therapy options.

You should see a mesothelioma specialist as soon as possible after asbestos exposure. They know the early signs of the disease, even if you’re unsure of your asbestos history. Early detection leads to better therapy options.

Doctors by Mesothelioma Type

Many mesothelioma doctors specialize in one type of this cancer. Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients have different needs. 

Thoracic surgeons work on the pleura and lungs. Abdominal surgeons can remove a mass in the peritoneum. Patients benefit more from doctors with knowledge of their diagnosis.

Pleural Mesothelioma Doctors

A pleural mesothelioma doctor specializes in diagnosing and treating pleural mesothelioma. Their focus is on cancer in the chest cavity. They often work in teams to develop a unique plan for each patient.

Dr. Raffit Hassan
Medical Oncologist
Dr. Raffit Hassan is a specialist in pleural mesothelioma at the National Cancer Institute. He is a leader in researching new, effective mesothelioma treatments.
Dr. Wickii Thambiah Vigneswaran
Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Wickii Vigneswaran is an internationally renowned thoracic surgeon who specializes in pleural mesothelioma and other diseases of the chest. He is double board certified in thoracic and cardiac surgery, an expert in robotic surgery and has more than 30 years of experience treating mesothelioma.

Dr. David P. Mason
Thoracic Surgeon
Dr. David Mason is a thoracic surgeon with the Methodist Health System in Dallas. His expertise includes lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma.
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Peritoneal Mesothelioma Doctors

Peritoneal mesothelioma doctors specialize in the abdominal form of this cancer. They understand how the disease affects digestion and vital organs in the gut. Surgery with HIPEC is an option for many. This procedure uses heated chemotherapy and has been particularly successful in treating peritoneal mesothelioma.

Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
Surgical Oncologist

Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin is a peritoneal mesothelioma specialist and surgeon with expertise in cytoreductive surgery with heated chemotherapy. He began his training in osteopathic medicine before he became board-certified in general surgery, surgical oncology gastroenterology and hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery.

Dr. Joel Baumgartner
Surgical Oncologist

Dr. Baumgartner is a peritoneal mesothelioma specialist and one of America’s most innovative young surgeons. He is an expert in the use of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Baumgartner came to Moores Cancer Center from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Byrne Lee
Surgical Oncologist
Dr. Byrne Lee is a surgical oncologist at the Stanford Cancer Institute. He specializes in the treatment of mesothelioma and other peritoneal malignancies.
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How to Choose the Best Mesothelioma Doctor

Choose a mesothelioma doctor based on your needs. Locate a cancer center with a multidisciplinary team. It may take several visits to find a physician you trust to guide your treatment.

Consider factors such as:

There may be local mesothelioma treatment in your state. Patient Advocates at The Mesothelioma Center can connect you with board-certified experts. These include specialized services such as a VA practitioner.

Watch: Tamron Little, a 14-year peritoneal mesothelioma survivor, shares her personal experience with a mesothelioma specialist vs. a general oncologist.

Before you meet with doctors, think of questions to ask a mesothelioma specialist. These can include how many years they’ve been in practice and how many cases like yours they’ve treated. They should also be able to tell you what new treatment options are available.

Every mesothelioma doctor is different. Asking questions is the best way to determine if they’re the right fit for you. Take the time to read online reviews of doctors you’re considering. Note whether the office accepts new patients and provides the services you need.

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What Happens During a Visit With a Mesothelioma Doctor

Preparing for your first appointment will make the most of your time with your doctor. You don’t have to decide on anything that day. Your doctor will ensure you begin mesothelioma treatment as soon as possible.

What to Bring to the Appointment:
  1. Details of your medical and work history. Include any possible exposure to asbestos in the workplace.
  2. A timeline that describes your symptoms and when they developed.
  3. Hard copies of your medical records and recent scans.
  4. A list of medicines you take, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
  5. Questions you have about your diagnosis, treatment, clinical trials and recovery.

You can expect your team to discuss your mesothelioma diagnosis. This includes your medical history, work history and treatment options.

Watch: Mesothelioma specialist Dr. Marcelo DaSilva shares what mesothelioma patients can expect during their first doctor visit.

Your doctor may review test results with you, such as imaging scans. These show tumor location and pathology findings detailing tumor cell types.

Chat with a Patient Advocate
Our Patient Advocates have more than 50 years of combined experience helping mesothelioma patients. Get answers to your questions now.

FAQs

Is it important to see a mesothelioma doctor over a regular oncologist?

Yes. Working with a specialized mesothelioma doctor rather than a general oncologist is crucial. Mesothelioma doctors have spent years specializing in diagnosing and treating this rare cancer. They understand the intricacies of mesothelioma treatment and help patients live longer by using suitable therapies at the right time.

How can a mesothelioma doctor help me?

A mesothelioma specialist can help you understand your diagnosis and guide you through treatment. Mesothelioma doctors spend years diagnosing and treating this rare cancer, and they are considered the best resource to help you live longer with mesothelioma.

What is the importance of a second opinion from a mesothelioma doctor?

Seeking a second opinion from a mesothelioma doctor is essential to understanding your options for treatment that could extend survival. Second opinions often lead to better treatment options or a chance to join a clinical trial testing an innovative new treatment.

Who is Dr. David Sugarbaker?

Dr. David Sugarbaker was a pleural mesothelioma surgeon and pioneer in its treatment. Sugarbaker, known as “Mr. Mesothelioma,” trained and worked with numerous doctors who continued his research to help patients live longer.

Who is Dr. Paul Sugarbaker?

Dr. Paul Sugarbaker is the country’s leading expert on peritoneal mesothelioma. He developed the widely renowned cytoreductive surgery and heated chemotherapy technique that changed the landscape of peritoneal cancer treatment. He no longer accepts new patients, but patients across the country still recognize his impact on peritoneal mesothelioma treatments.

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