Mesothelioma Surgery – Complete Guide for Beginners

If the cancerous tumor is present in the lining around the lungs or abdomen the doctor advises to go for aggressive surgery and is potentially curative. because the cancerous tumor is being removed. After the surgery the chemotherapy is given as the next option of the treatment to destroy the remaining cancer cells left in the area. Then radiation also followed after the surgery. By these treatments most of the cancer can be controlled and the symptoms may be reduced. the goal of the surgery is to relieve the symptoms and to feel better. There are traumatic and palliative surgeries for mesothelioma for those who are not enough healthy to withstand the strain.. Only the surgeries are progressive when patients have enough energy and  healthy to withstand the strain and stress of the aggressive surgery. There are three categories of surgery, they are potentially curative, palliative and diagnostic surgery. The life changeable and removing of tumors to reduce the symptoms is Potentially curative. The palliative surgery helps to restore the quality of life,  reducing the pain and alleviating the symptoms. The diagnostic surgery is the basic procedure to get the idea for the doctors.

Surgeries for Mesothelioma include

  • Thoracentesis
  • Paracentesis
  • Biopsy
  • Pleurodesis
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Thoracotomy
  • Wedge resection
  • Lobectomy
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP)
  • Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D)
  • Peritonectomy/cytoreductive


Chemotherapy is used to treat all type of cancers.  The anti-cancer(Cytotoxic)drugs kills the cancer cells by disrupting the growth of the cancer cells. It slow the growth of the mesothelioma and controls the symptoms. Chemotherapy drugs, which are usually given by an IV(Intravenously)  into a vein in your arm, are designed to kill cancer cells.

Before go to the chemotherapy the doctor should see the fitness of the patient. because it has the side effects. This drug is induced once in a day or days and is followed a period of three weeks rest. This period is called  one cycle of treatment. The doctor decides how many cycles required according to the stage of the cancer and how is it responding to the treatment. Cisplatin and pemetrexed  are the drugs used for mesothelioma patients in chemotherapy treatment. A milder drug cocktail, Pemetrexed is combined with carboplatin is used with the same result but has fewer side effects.

For the peritoneal mesothelioma the heated chemotherapy is given during surgery.Because chemotherapy drugs affect the cancer cells and also the noncancer cells. so the patient feels worse than before chemotherapy.Feeling sick(nausea) and being sick (vomiting) is common soon after  the treatment is given. Anemia, Fatigue, Sore throat, Eye problems, hair loss,changes in hearing,numbness  or tingling in hand or feet are the side effects seen in patients. Some people have more side effects some do not have any side effect they feel as normal. All these side effects are temporary and will disappear once the treatment is over. Cisplatin, Carboplatin,Pemetrexed, Gemcitabine,Doxorubicin are the drugs commonly used for chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma.


Radiation therapy is one of the noninvasive and uses high-energy rays to target the cancer. This one of the main three types of treatment used to reduce pain and symptoms. It is typically combination with other treatment options helps  to kill the cancer cells and shrink the  tumors or manage tumor growth. It has less side effects that chemotherapy does.

Oncologists used radiation is the main treatment for mesothelioma for decades.

Radiation also can be used for various reasons in a palliative situation when surgery is no longer an option.Doctors can determine some cases are not eligible for surgery so they prefer to go for combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to relieve from pain and life expectancy. There are Two main types of radiation:

  1. External beam
  2. Intraoperative (done during surgery)

Radiation is given to the patient in an out-patient basis for five days in a week for several weeks, it is painless and effective.