When patients are diagnosed with a debilitating disease such as cancer, their focus often immediately shifts towards whether or not they will require surgery to treat the disease and what, if any, are the least invasive and most effective treatment options. Some forms of cancer can be treated without surgery, using radiation or chemotherapy, if caught in the early stages, while others leave patients with limited treatment options that may leave surgery as the only course of action.
A recent European study compared surgical treatments in patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer affecting the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs. The researchers compared data of two types of treatments performed from 1999 through 2018, pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) and extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) to see if patients fared better with one treatment over the other in terms of survival.
Mesothelioma has a particularly long latency period, which is the time between exposure to a carcinogen and when a diagnosis is actually made. The disease’s latency period can be anywhere from 20 years to 50 years, which can leave patients with especially limited treatment options and make surgery the only treatment available to prolong the individual’s lifespan.
The European study, conducted by the European Respiratory Journal, examined 15 studies with over 1,600 patients who underwent EPP surgery, and over 2,200 patients who underwent the P/D surgery treated in the U.S., U.K., Italy, Germany, South Africa, Japan, and Switzerland. The EPP surgery involves the removal of the entire affected lung and the lining of tissue surrounding it, as well as the diaphragm, and the lymph nodes. On the other hand, the P/D treatment is a much more focused surgical removal of the tumor cells in the thoracic cavity, leaving the affected organ in place.
In its conclusion, the study determined that the more invasive EPP treatment did not provide any better outcomes with the survival of the patient and the authors found the P/D treatment to be preferred, with the outcomes being essentially equal. That being said, the study’s authors found exceptions to this in their analysis, pointing out several instances of long-term survivors who underwent the EPP treatment to remove much of the affected lung.
Many mesothelioma patients developed their disease from exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral once used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications for its heat resistant properties. Unfortunately, companies knew for decades about the health risks associated with asbestos exposure, yet chose to continue to use the substance in their products, putting thousands of innocent people at risk of serious health complications.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.