Getting Treatment in Texas
Texas is home to some of the leading cancer treatment centers in the country, including three National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer centers. These include the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the University of Texas Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in Dallas and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Because it has many oil refineries, chemical plants and shipyards, Texas has a significant history of occupational asbestos exposure. Texas ranks fifth in the U.S. for asbestos-related deaths, including a total of 2,761 recorded mesothelioma deaths. The age-adjusted incidence of mesothelioma in Texas is 0.6 cases per 100,000 people — among the highest in the nation.
The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com provides resources for people with mesothelioma in Texas to help them find the best possible care within the state. It is the nation’s most trusted source for information about mesothelioma. With more than 15 years of experience working with survivors and families, The Mesothelioma Center has provided assistance in the form of Patient Advocates, a VA claims doctor match program, support groups and webinars.
Top Mesothelioma Centers in Texas
A diagnosis of mesothelioma is life-changing, and choosing the best treatment center is a deeply personal experience. There are many cancer treatment centers in Texas, so how do you choose the right one for you?
- Is it accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer?
- Is it a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center?
- In addition to surgical and oncology services, does it provide palliative care?
Several cancer centers in Texas specialize in mesothelioma treatment and research. The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has a dedicated mesothelioma program with 12 physicians specializing in mesothelioma treatment. The Mesothelioma Treatment Center at the Baylor Medicine Lung Institute, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston is dedicated to mesothelioma diagnosis, treatment and research. The MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston also has a team of specialists with expertise in treating mesothelioma.
Texas Doctors Who Treat Mesothelioma
Choosing the right cancer treatment center is the first step in finding mesothelioma care, but you also have to find the right doctor. Choosing the right doctor is an important part of your mesothelioma journey. There is no shortage of competent physicians, but you must find someone who is a mesothelioma specialist and a good fit for you.
- Are they knowledgeable and confident?
- Do they have experience with your type of mesothelioma?
- Do they make you feel comfortable and respected?
Cancer treatment is a long process and your care continues even in remission. You and your doctor must be able to build a good working relationship based on trust and respect. It takes more than medical knowledge and clinical skills to be a good fit — personality matters. You and your doctor will need to work together as a team throughout your cancer care, so be sure to find a teammate you can work with in the long journey ahead.
Clinical Trials and Cancer Research in Texas
Some cancer centers in Texas are focused on more than just treatment. They make research a priority as well. Clinical trials are an important part of research. They recruit patients to test the latest cutting-edge treatments for mesothelioma. Enrolling in a clinical trial can give you access to new treatments before they are widely available.
Cancer researchers, such as Dr. Jonathan E. Dowell at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, study how to best treat mesothelioma and other cancers. This includes all aspects of cancer care. Not just chemotherapy, but long-term outpatient care, palliative care and cancer prevention.
Participating in cancer research as a patient can have benefits for you as an individual, but it also allows you to play a role in advancing cancer care for countless other patients. Are you interested in enrolling in a mesothelioma clinical trial? Let The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com help you find a clinical trial that’s right for you.
This study is testing the addition of atezolizumab and bevacizumab immunotherapy to standard surgery or chemotherapy.
- Condition: Peritoneal Mesothelioma
- Intervention: Immunotherapy
- Locations: Houston, Texas
- Recruiting: August 2021 – Present
This study adds radiation therapy to the usual regimen of surgery and chemotherapy for early-stage pleural mesothelioma.
- Condition: Pleural Mesothelioma
- Intervention: Radiation Therapy
- Locations: Conroe, Houston, League City and Sugarland, Texas
- Recruiting: November 2019 – Present
This study uses novel cell therapy and genetically engineered T cells that target mesothelin.
- Condition: Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer
- Intervention: Gavo-cel
- Locations: Houston, Texas
- Recruiting: April 2019 – Present
Stories from Survivors
In 2015, Michael Cole was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. His thoracic surgeon was able to get him in touch with the late Dr. David Sugarbaker, a leading expert in mesothelioma at Baylor College of Medicine. Under Sugarbaker’s expert care, Cole underwent surgery to remove one lung and all the surrounding tissue, followed by chemotherapy. After two years, the cancer returned, leading to another surgery and years of radiation therapy and immunotherapy to control tumor growth. Despite setbacks, Cole is a mesothelioma survivor. The expert mesothelioma care he has received at cancer centers in Houston and Dallas has allowed him to help others going through the same experience with mesothelioma.Michael ColePleural Mesothelioma Survivor
Cancer Support Services in Texas
Cancer support services work to meet the needs of cancer patients, caregivers and families dealing with mesothelioma. This can include financial support as well as emotional and spiritual support. Both national and local resources are available to help Texans with mesothelioma.
The American Cancer Society’s cancer resource centers provide free wigs, hats, treatment information and other support for cancer patients. The services available also include help finding emotional support networks, financial assistance and lodging during treatment.
The Mesothelioma Survivor, Caregiver & Family Support group on Facebook helps connect mesothelioma patients and caregivers in Texas and around the country with other people dealing with mesothelioma. Newly diagnosed patients, survivors and others can share their experiences and offer peer support.
The Cancer Services Network provides support for cancer patients, including financial, emotional, spiritual and social support. It can provide wigs, hats and nutritional supplements as well as financial assistance to help cover the cost of insurance, medication, transportation, medical equipment and medical supplies.
Regarding Cancer serves patients and caregivers in central Texas by providing psychosocial support and resources. It matches cancer patients with survivors and caregivers who have experienced the same type of cancer.
The CareBOX program provides supplies to cancer patients, including nutrition, hygiene and mobility products. Its focus is on preventing complications from cancer and cancer treatment such as malnutrition, infections and injuries.
CARTS, the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, provides low-cost, on-demand transportation services in Austin and the surrounding rural areas. Full-fare prices cost $2-$4 per trip; seniors and persons with disabilities only pay half-fare.