Mesothelioma Treatment: Pleurectomy/Decortication

When asbestos material has been disturbed, it is possible for asbestos fibres to loosen and become airborne. If breathed in, these fibres may become lodged in the thin membrane that lines the lungs; the pleural lining. Can then cause mesothelioma, the asbestos related cancer.

Mesothelioma can in some instances be treated through an operation known as a pleurectomy or decortication. Mesothelioma patients who undergo the treatment may be subject to varying degrees of such treatment. Mesothelioma patients may undergo ‘extended’ pleurectomy/decortication, which requires the removal of the entire pleural lining, or ‘partial’ pleurecotmy/decortication, which requires the removal of only part of the pleural lining. The treatments are aimed to give more space to the lungs, allowing them to expand, alleviating symptoms of mesothelioma such as shortness of breath.

Recent Australian studies on this form of mesothelioma treatment have shown that the more intense the treatment, the better results mesothelioma patients may receive, but at a higher risk. The study reports a trend in extended pleurectomy/decortication towards a higher number of complications and longer hospital stays, compared to mesothelioma patients who underwent partial pleurectomy/decortication. However, the studies showed that the mesothelioma patients that underwent extended pleurecotmy/decortication had more successful results, being more favourable to “overall and disease-free survival”.

Although mesothelioma has no known cure at present, treatments such as this have been shown to help those suffering mesothelioma. To support such treatments, mesothelioma compensation is also available to those whose disease came about due to exposure to asbestos in Australia.

It is critical that those suffering mesothelioma seek the advice of their medical specialists as to what, if any, mesothelioma treatment options in Australia should be undertaken. A particular treatment option for one person suffering mesothelioma in Australia may not be possible or helpful for another person suffering mesothelioma in Australia. It all comes down to the individual, thus you should seek specific and individual advice

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