Learn About Malignant Mesothelioma

What is the definition of Malignant Mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon cancerous tumor. It mainly affects the lining of the lung and chest cavity (pleura) or lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). It is due to long-term asbestos exposure.

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What are the alternative names for Malignant Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma - malignant; Malignant pleura mesothelioma (MPM)

What are the causes of Malignant Mesothelioma?

Long-term exposure to asbestos is the biggest risk factor. Asbestos is a fire-resistant material. It was once commonly found in insulation, ceiling and roofing vinyls, cement, and car brakes. Even though many asbestos workers smoked, experts do not believe smoking itself is a cause of this condition.

Men are affected more often than women. The average age at diagnosis is 60 years. Most people seem to develop the condition about 30 years after being in contact with the asbestos.

What are the symptoms of Malignant Mesothelioma?

Symptoms may not appear until 20 to 40 years or longer after exposure to asbestos, and may include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain, especially when taking a deep breath
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Fever and sweating
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What are the current treatments for Malignant Mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma is a difficult cancer to treat.

There is usually no cure, unless the disease is found very early and the tumor can be completely removed with surgery. Most of the time, when the disease is diagnosed, it is too advanced for surgery. Chemotherapy or radiation may be used to reduce symptoms. Combining certain chemotherapy drugs may help decrease symptoms, but it will not cure the cancer.

Untreated, most people survive about 9 months.

Participating in a clinical trial (test of new treatments), may give the person more treatment options.

Pain relief, oxygen, and other supportive treatments may also help relieve symptoms.

Who are the top Malignant Mesothelioma Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
17
conditions
Hematology Oncology
Oncology

University of Texas System

University Of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

1515 Holcombe Blvd 
Houston, TX 77030

Anne Tsao is a Hematologist Oncology specialist and an Oncologist in Houston, Texas. Dr. Tsao has been practicing medicine for over 24 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma. She is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Malignant Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer NCSLC, and Metastatic Pleural Tumor. She is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Tsao is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
14
conditions
Radiation Oncology

Penn Medicine

Perelman Center For Advanced Medicine

3400 Civic Center Blvd 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Keith Cengel is a Radiation Oncologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Cengel has been practicing medicine for over 21 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma. He is also highly rated in 14 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Malignant Mesothelioma, Metastatic Pleural Tumor, Lung Cancer, and Squamous Cell Lung Carcinoma. He is licensed to treat patients in Pennsylvania. Dr. Cengel is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
15
conditions
Thoracic Surgery
General Surgery

University of Texas System

Dr. David C. Rice

1515 Holcombe Blvd 
Houston, TX 77030

David Rice is a Thoracic Surgeon and a General Surgeon in Houston, Texas. Dr. Rice has been practicing medicine for over 31 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma. He is also highly rated in 15 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Malignant Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer NCSLC, and Metastatic Pleural Tumor. He is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Rice is currently accepting new patients.

What are the support groups for Malignant Mesothelioma?

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Malignant Mesothelioma?

The average survival time varies from 4 to 18 months. Outlook depends on:

  • The stage of the tumor
  • The person's age and general health
  • Whether surgery is an option
  • The person's response to treatment

You and your family may want to start thinking about end-of-life planning, such as:

  • Palliative care
  • Hospice care
  • Advance care directives
  • Health care agents
What are the possible complications of Malignant Mesothelioma?

Complications of malignant mesothelioma may include:

  • Side effects of chemotherapy or radiation
  • Continued spread of cancer to other organs
When should I contact a medical professional for Malignant Mesothelioma?

Call for an appointment with your provider if you have symptoms of malignant mesothelioma.

How do I prevent Malignant Mesothelioma?

Avoid exposure to asbestos.

Respiratory system
What are the latest Malignant Mesothelioma Clinical Trials?
Phase 1 Safety Run-In and Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial of Anetumab Ravtansine and Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) Compared to Pembrolizumab Alone for Mesothelin-Positive Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
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A Feasibility Trial of Neoadjuvant Cisplatin-Pemetrexed With Atezolizumab in Combination and in Maintenance for Resectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
What are the Latest Advances for Malignant Mesothelioma?
Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) clinical practice guideline on immunotherapy for the treatment of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
EZH2 inhibitor tazemetostat in patients with relapsed or refractory, BAP1-inactivated malignant pleural mesothelioma: a multicentre, open-label, phase 2 study.
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A Canadian single-centre experience with cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy for abdominal malignancies.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: May 27, 2020
Published By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Baas P, Hassan R, Nowak AK, Rice D. Malignant mesothelioma. In: Pass HI, Ball D, Scagliotti GV, eds. IASLC Thoracic Oncology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 53.

Broaddus VC, Robinson BWS. Pleural tumors. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 82.

National Cancer Institute website. Malignant mesothelioma treatment (adult) (PDQ) -- Health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma/hp/mesothelioma-treatment-pdq. Updated November 8, 2019. Accessed July 20, 2020.