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Does Surgery for Mesothelioma Improve Quality of Life?

surgical toolsWhen it comes to mesothelioma, surgery could be a helpful option to prolong the life of the patient. However, there are a number of patients who may undergo surgery because they believe it will impact their quality of life. This is an interesting take, but a new study from researchers led by a thoracic surgeon at Loyola Medicine has shown that this isn’t the case. In fact, the study shows the exact opposite, claiming that those patients who underwent pleurectomy and decortication operation often reported an improvement in the quality of life.

The study was presented by Wickii Vigneswaran, MD. —division director of thoracic surgery, and a professor in the thoracic and cardiovascular surgery department at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine — at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.

Mesothelioma is a dangerous lung cancer that restricts the lungs of the patient and causes shortness of breath as the tumor grows. By using pleurectomy and decortication surgery, the pleura — the tissue around the lungs — is removed and it can help ease the tension on the lungs and lessen the pain. It cannot cure the mesothelioma; rather, just aims to make the time spent with mesothelioma easier and more comfortable for the patient.

The survey analyzed 114 mesothelioma patients between the ages of 50 to 88, all whom underwent the PD surgery. All patients were evaluated on a performance status score with 31% of the patients scoring 0 (fully functional), 65% scoring a 1 (light work), and 4% scored a 2 (unable to work, but capable of self-care). The survey measured functioning, general symptoms, individual items, and overall health. All patients were surveyed again after 1 month, 4 to 5 months, 7 to 8 months, and 10 to 11 months following surgery.

The results of the study shows an improvement in the quality of life after the first month post-surgery that was maintained throughout all follow-ups.

At Worthington & Caron, we can help you connect to some of the top mesothelioma doctors who can provide you with various options to make this time easier on you. We want to do all we can to help patients get the care and service they need.

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