Posts Tagged ‘pneumonectomy’

Pneumonectomy and Extrapleural Pneumonectomy

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer affecting the membrane that covers and protects various internal organs of the body (mesothelium). The mesothelium comprises two layers of particular cells known as mesothelial cells. One layer directly surrounds an organ forming a protective sac, while the other lines body cavities, providing oil like lubrication within the body. The most common type of mesothelioma cancer affects the membrane, or sac, lining the lungs (pleura). Other, less common areas include the membrane of the stomach (peritoneum) and the membrane lining the heart (pericardium).

A pneumonectomy is a surgical removal of an entire lung and is used as a cancer treatment. Pneumonectomy may fall into one of two categories: traditional pneumonectomy, resulting in the removal of the diseased lung and extrapleural pneumonectomy, involving removal of the diseased lung as well as areas of the diaphragm and other tissues.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy is typically determined as a surgery of last resort with a goal of eradicating a majority of the cancer cells. Surgeons usually only perform this type of surgery on patients who are in the early stages of mesothelioma cancer, before the cancer has a chance to metastasize, spreading to lymph nodes or invading surrounding tissues and organs. Extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery candidates typically need to be in relatively good health — with good lung and heart function — because removal of an entire lung will increase strain on the heart and remaining lung. They also usually need to be strong and healthy enough to withstand the demands of major surgery and the healing it will require.

In some cases, diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer does not occur until a patient reaches a critical Stage 3 or 4, reducing the chances for this type of treatment. For those who are eligible, extrapleural pneumonectomy may slow or halt the progression of the disease, help ease breathing and improve quality of life. Extrapleural pneumonectomy patients treated with a combination of extrapleural pneumonectomy, radiation and chemotherapy may experience increased life spans of months or, in some cases, years.


Pleurectomy Decortication Surgery

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Mesothelioma was once a rare form of cancer but has become more commonplace today. Some instances of mesothelioma may result from exposure to asbestos fibers that becoming lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs. There are various forms of treatment for mesothelioma, and the use of certain types of surgery along with chemotherapy and radiation can treat the symptoms with varying degrees of success.  Pleurectomy-Decortication (PD) is one such surgery, usually done on patients in the earliest stages of mesothelioma, when tissue infiltration is still relatively contained within a smaller surface area.

Pleurectomy-Decortication (PD) is a class of mesothelioma surgery in which the surgeon removes a tumor and/or the lining of the lungs. PD is not a cure, but it may help improve the patient’s quality of life and ease pain resulting from the cancer. The medical community does generally consider PD a radical surgery due to the extensive amount of tissue resection and the highly invasive techniques necessary to complete the operation. However, the surgery may successfully extend survival time in mesothelioma patients.

In PD, the surgeon makes an incision in the chest to reach the pleural cavity, providing access to the lungs and then performs the decortications of the lung and full resection of the visceral pleura. This involves removal of the surface layer of the visceral pleura and some other tissue to try to eradicate all malignant tissue. Following the decortication, the surgeon will likely do whatever reconstructive processes are necessary to ensure proper lung function. During the procedure the doctor also may remove adjacent lymph nodes to be sent to a pathologist for analysis, after which the doctors will decide what follow-up treatments might be helpful.

Once the surgery is performed, the patient will likely need to spend time in the intensive care unit before starting rehabilitation. It is important for the patient to realize this is major surgery with significant post-operative healing, so it will take time to recover.

Pleurectomy-Decortication surgery and other mesothelioma treatments can sometimes be uncomfortable and quite extensive. Yet, it may help patients to remember that, with these surgical options and other selected treatments, medical professionals seek to do everything possible to make a positive impact on the patient’s overall health and quality of life.


Pleurodesis and Pleurectomy

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

In the last few weeks, we’ve discussed some basic information on what cancer is and various treatment options specific to mesothelioma cancer patients. In addition to radiation and chemotherapy, surgery is a potential treatment option for this aggressive form of cancer that could possibly result from exposure to asbestos materials. Surgical treatment for mesothelioma may involve different methods or procedures depending on the specifics of the diagnosis.

While there is no known cure for mesothelioma cancer, sometimes surgery may help alleviate some of the pain and complications resulting from this vicious disease. For example, certain patients experience difficulty breathing due to excess build up of fluid around the lungs or abdominal area. Excess fluid build-up can squeeze the lungs, making breathing uncomfortable and even painful.

Palliative type surgeries aim to relieve mesothelioma symptoms by draining the excess fluid. Pleurodesis is another type of surgery in which talc, a mineral silicate, is inserted into the small lining that cushions the lungs in order to help mitigate fluid collection over the long-term.

A pleurectomy is a class of mesothelioma surgery where the surgeon removes a tumor and/or the lining of the lungs. This kind of surgery sometimes accompanies radiation or chemotherapy to help control remaining cancerous tissues. Pleurectomy is not a cure; however, it may help improve the patient’s quality of life and easing pain. Another type of surgery is pneumonectomy, which involves removing the lung, the lining around it and some of the support tissues. This surgery typically occurs with the most drastic cancer cases in an attempt to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with mesothelioma.

Surgery and other treatments for mesothelioma can sometimes be uncomfortable and quite extensive. With these surgical options and other selected treatments, medical professionals seek to do everything possible to make a positive impact on the patient’s overall health and quality of life.


Pneumonectomy to Chemo Therapy

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

It’s a relatively comforting fact to point out that mesothelioma treatment is progressing, slowly but steadily.  One wishing to make such a case can point to the myriad studies regularly being published pointing toward novel, promising methods in various stages of the research process.  This news is indisputably good.  However, behind this obvious upward trend is a larger, sadder truth regarding mesothelioma treatment.  Which is this: despite all the generally upward-pointing arrows on the trend chart, mesothelioma treatment has not yet gotten over the hump.  There is no cure for this devastating disease.

Current, common methods of cancer treatment revolve around three methods of attack.  These are, in no particular order, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.  These treatments have demonstrated little or limited success as mesothelioma treatments.  Some mesothelioma treatment methods that have been researched recently include combining several of these common treatments in specific ways.  One such example of a combined treatment is referred to as a pneumonectomy.  A pneumonectomy involves a period of intense chemotherapy, combined with the removal of either a portion of or an entire lung.  This mesothelioma treatment has potential to increase the life expectancy of a person afflicted with mesothelioma.  Unfortunately, it does not cure the disease.

There’s a classic, tragic, double-edged sword regarding developing mesothelioma treatments.  Since mesothelioma is so rare (with approximately somewhere between seven and 40 victims per 1,000,000 population in the United States), relatively few people suffer from it.  However, there’s less of an impetus to develop proven methods of treatment for it for that very reason.

If you or someone you know is undergoing mesothelioma treatment due to a contraction caused by asbestos exposure, it could be a good idea to think about contacting a mesothelioma law firm to determine if it’s possible to secure a mesothelioma settlement.  Though a settlement can’t cure anyone of mesothelioma, it has the potential to help with the exorbitant medical costs and hardships associated with a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Pneumonectomy and Other Treatments

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Understanding mesothelioma treatment is critical for both those who are currently suffering from mesothelioma as well as for that friend’s loved ones and friends.  Being armed with knowledge is often helpful in trying medical times, so it’s often helpful for a patient to understand what sort of options may be available for him or her.

Mesothelioma treatment is a medical field that is showing progress.  New kinds of treatments are being devised, researched, and tested with some regularity  Oftentimes, these treatments involve combining previously existing methods of combating mesothelioma in new ways.  However, despite the good work being done in research institutions all over, the stark fact remains that there is no cure for mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma treatment, sadly, does not often result in the cancer’s remission.  What’s more, once a patient becomes diagnosed with mesothelioma, their life expectancy is often measured in mere months, not years.

Though many of the standard cancer treatments—including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy—are currently used to treat mesothelioma, none of them has exhibited high effectiveness in turning the tide against this particular form of cancer.  The previously mentioned method of combining existing treatments has resulted in options like a pneumonectomy, which consists of an intensive regimen of chemotherapy in tandem with the partial or total removal of a lung.  Again, however, though this method provides positive results on occasion, and will sometimes extend the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient, the result is rarely a cure.

The silver lining, if it can be called that, is that mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer.  Somewhere between seven and 40 people per 1,000,000 U.S. citizens contract it, which is a rate much lower than for some other, more common forms of cancer.  That means fewer people are likely to suffer from it.  However, that rate isn’t zero, which means it still strikes down people.

If you or someone you know is undergoing mesothelioma treatment, it might be a good idea to consider consulting a law firm with a history of mesothelioma experience to attempt to secure a mesothelioma settlement.

Mesothelioma Prognosis

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Mesothelioma treatment is an area of the medical field that is showing remarkable progress.  New methods of combating this devastating disease are being tested regularly.  Novel combinations of existing treatments are also being researched in an attempt to see what methods work best.  These are good signs, obviously, but they underscore the ultimate, sad truth about mesothelioma.  Despite all of science’s latest improvements, there is, unfortunately, no cure for this cancer.

Traditionally, there are three forms of standard treatment for most  cancers.  They are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.  None of these treatments alone has demonstrated overwhelming effectiveness in combating mesothelioma.  One promising mesothelioma treatment involves surgical removal of a lung or portion of a long to go with a period of aggressive chemotherapy.  This treatment is called a pneumonectomy.  Though a pneumonectomy can increase a mesothelioma victim’s life expectancy, it does not usually cure the victim of the disease.

Fortunately, mesothelioma is not a particularly common cancer.  The typical rate of contraction in the United States hovers somewhere between seven and 40 per 1,000,000 citizens, which is pretty low.  That’s good news, yet it’s a bit of a two-edged sword.  That’s because, research dollars being finite, a rarer cancer is less likely to draw the kind of research budget that a more common one will bring in.  That translates to a potentially slower rate of progress than commonly found with other cancers.

Another issue with rarity is that there are fewer cases to compare.  That means less comparative research can be conducted.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with this disease and is undergoing mesothelioma treatment, it might be worth considering consulting a mesothelioma law firm to try to secure some sort of mesothelioma settlement.  When considering mesothelioma law firms, it might be a good idea to opt for one that has significant amounts of experience in the field, as they might be more well-equipped to secure your settlement.