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The Importance of Involving a Mesothelioma Specialist in the Treatment of MPM

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer which affects less than 3,000 people per year in the United States. Many oncologists and pulmonologists see few if any cases of mesothelioma in their careers. In addition to its rarity, MPM, which often presents as a thin sheet-like tumor surrounding the lung, poses many unique challenges when it comes to treatment.

For these reasons it is crucially important that patients diagnosed with MPM seek treatment, or at least a second opinion, from a mesothelioma specialist. A mesothelioma specialist is a doctor, typically a thoracic surgeon or oncologist, who has treated over one hundred MPM patients and published articles on MPM.

A mesothelioma specialist will have specialized knowledge regarding diagnostic testing to determine important details such as the precise cell-type, staging, and location of the tumor. A specialist will also have the most up to date knowledge about available mesothelioma treatments and the experience to recommend the best treatments given the specific attributes of a patient?s tumor.

Seeing a mesothelioma specialist as early as possible after diagnosis can avoid lengthy delays in selecting a treatment or, worse yet, months spent pursuing sub-optimal treatments which are ineffective in halting tumor progression and metastasis rendering the patient ineligible for more effective treatments.

UCLA Nurse Practitioner Lien Hua-Feng works directly with MPM patients, family members, and local treating doctors to arrange consultations with the mesothelioma specialists who are part of UCLA?s one-of-a-kind Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, including the program?s director, thoracic surgeon, Dr. Robert B. Cameron . She can be contacted at 310-818-1304 or

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