Top Oncologists for Mesothelioma
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Types of Mesothelioma Oncologists
Oncologists who treat mesothelioma can help people with this rare cancer live longer. If surgery is an option, they will connect patients to a specialized surgeon who knows how to safely remove the tumor.
Specialized oncologists are also familiar with ongoing mesothelioma clinical trials and emerging treatments. A 2022 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology described new treatment strategies. It covered radiology, surgery, radiation and medical oncology with cellular therapies.
The type of oncologist you will work with depends on the type of mesothelioma you have.
Pleural mesothelioma patients see thoracic oncologists. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma should see oncologists with experience treating abdominal cancers.
Thoracic oncologists specialize in treating cancers of the thorax (the chest cavity).
Thoracic oncology programs treat lung cancer, thymoma, tracheal cancer and other thoracic malignancies.
Because pleural mesothelioma is rare, few thoracic oncologists know how to treat it.
Mesothelioma patients should seek treatment at a mesothelioma specialty center. This will ensure care from a team with experience treating asbestos-related cancers.
Oncologists for Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal patients should get treatment from a doctor with experience in this cancer.
Peritoneal mesothelioma patients often live significantly longer than pleural mesothelioma patients. Surgery plays a major role in long-term survival.
The most successful treatment is a combination of surgery and heated chemotherapy. Surgical oncologists who treat peritoneal mesothelioma are best equipped to perform this procedure.
How do Oncologists Help Plan Treatment Strategies?
Oncologists are an essential part of a multidisciplinary team of cancer doctors. They are the doctors who deliver a cancer diagnosis and recommend treatment options. They help coordinate care across multiple disciplines.
Types and Roles of Oncologists
- Medical Oncologist: This is the most common area of oncology. They specialize in the treatment of solid tumors, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. They often treat cancer with chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Medical oncologists can also refer patients to a surgical oncologist for tumor-removing procedures.
- Surgical Oncologist: These are general surgeons who have additional training in the removal of tumors. Surgical oncologists typically specialize within their particular discipline.
- Radiation Oncologist: These physicians specialize in treating cancers with radiation therapy.
A person diagnosed with mesothelioma will work with an oncologist or a team of oncologists during their cancer treatment. Oncologists manage the patient’s care throughout the course of the disease.
Oncologists work closely with other health care professionals. They include pathologists, diagnostic radiologists, oncology nurses and oncology social workers.
Role of Oncologists for Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma doctors and specialists are medical experts who treat asbestos-related cancers. They usually specialize in performing surgery or giving medicine to treat the condition.
The majority of mesothelioma patients do not qualify for surgery. Because of this, they may never meet or be evaluated by a surgical oncologist.
Instead, a medical oncologist will tell you what kind of cancer you have. They will suggest treatments like chemotherapy. They also help the patient manage symptoms and treatment side effects.
Do Oncologists Diagnose Mesothelioma?
Surgical oncologists can perform a biopsy to diagnose mesothelioma. However, most patients visit a general lung surgeon or gastrointestinal surgeon for a biopsy if cancer is suspected.
If the biopsy comes back positive for cancer, the patient is then referred to an oncology specialist.
Radiation Oncology for Mesothelioma
Radiation oncologists are specialty physicians who use radiation therapy to treat cancer.
Like surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists can specialize in treating certain types of cancer. For example, thoracic radiation oncology is radiation therapy for lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Radiation therapy can be used to shrink tumors or prevent cancer recurrence. It is also used as a palliative treatment to relieve pain and manage symptoms.