Medically Reviewed By:
Written By:
Last Modified March 17, 2022
This page features 5 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us

Testimonials

"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Lashawn
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating
Read Our Testimonials

Types of Mesothelioma Oncologists

Oncologists who specialize in mesothelioma give patients with this rare cancer the best chance at longer survival. If surgery is an option, they will be able to refer patients to a surgical oncologist with expertise in the complex tumor-removing procedures for mesothelioma.

Specialized oncologists are also familiar with ongoing mesothelioma clinical trials and emerging treatments. For example, a 2022 research study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology described new developments in treatment strategies for radiology, surgery, radiation and medical oncology with cellular therapies. 

The type of oncologist a mesothelioma patient will work with depends on the type of mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma patients see thoracic oncologists. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma should see oncologists with experience treating abdominal cancers.

Thoracic Oncologists

Thoracic oncologists specialize in treating cancers of the thorax (the chest cavity).

Thoracic oncology programs at cancer centers across the nation treat lung cancer, thymoma, tracheal cancer and other thoracic malignancies.

However, because pleural mesothelioma is so rare, not all thoracic oncology programs or thoracic oncologists have the expertise to treat this cancer.

Mesothelioma patients should seek treatment at a mesothelioma specialty center. This will ensure they receive care from a team with experience treating asbestos-related cancers.

Top Thoracic Oncologists for Pleural Mesothelioma

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.

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.

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.

By submitting, you agree to our privacy policy and disclaimer. Our Patient Advocates may contact you via phone, email and/or text.

Oncologists for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

People diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma should receive treatment from an oncologist with experience treating peritoneal surface malignancies.

Peritoneal mesothelioma patients often live significantly longer than pleural mesothelioma patients. Surgery plays a major role in long-term survival.

The most successful treatment for this mesothelioma type is a combination of surgery and heated chemotherapy. Surgical oncologists with experience in treating peritoneal mesothelioma are best equipped to perform this procedure.

Top Surgical Oncologists for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Paul H. Sugarbaker
Surgical Oncologist

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. Many people with peritoneal mesothelioma are alive today because of Sugarbaker’s innovations.

W. Charles Conway
Surgical Oncologist

Dr. W. Charles Conway is an expert in peritoneal mesothelioma and the Director of Surgical Oncology at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center in Santa Barbara, California. He specializes in minimally invasive robotic surgery and heated chemotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma.

Mecker Moller
Surgical Oncologist

Dr. Mecker Moller is a peritoneal mesothelioma specialist and a surgical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida. She specializes in the most effective procedure for peritoneal mesothelioma, which involves cytoreductive surgery and heated chemotherapy.

By submitting, you agree to our privacy policy and disclaimer. Our Patient Advocates may contact you via phone, email and/or text.
By submitting, you agree to our privacy policy and disclaimer. Our Patient Advocates may contact you via phone, email and/or text.

Find a Specialist Near You

0 Results Found in
%POST_TITLE%%HEADSHOT%
%SPECIALTY%%LOCATION%
Don’t see your state? Find out how our Doctor Match program can help.

How do Oncologists Help Plan Treatment Strategy?

Oncologists are an essential part of a multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists. 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. Medical oncologists 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. For example, a thoracic surgeon with oncology training may perform tumor-removing surgery for lung cancer, esophageal cancer, mesothelioma and other malignancies.
  • 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, including pathologists, diagnostic radiologists, oncology nurses and oncology social workers.

Role of Oncologists for Mesothelioma

The terms “mesothelioma doctor” or “mesothelioma specialist” typically refer to medical oncologists or surgical oncologists who specialize in treating asbestos-related cancers.

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 explain the cancer diagnosis and recommend treatment options such as chemotherapy. They also help the patient manage symptoms and treatment side effects.

Find a Mesothelioma Cancer Center
Access top mesothelioma cancer centers that have experience treating this rare disease.

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 focuses on 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.


Mesothelioma packet from the Mesothelioma Center
Get Your Free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide
Healthy fish, vegetables and fruit
Watch Our Free Mesothelioma Nutrition Webinar
Technician documenting notes in a lab
Find Active Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

  •  
  •  
  •  
Tell us what you think
Did this article help you?
How did this article help you?
What about this article isn’t helpful for you?
Did this article help you?

Thank you for your feedback. Would you like to speak with a Patient Advocate?