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Study Shows Mesothelioma Patients’ Quality of Life Improves With Surgery

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The decision about how to treat their disease is among the most important that a patient diagnosed with mesothelioma will make: it is something that needs to be discussed at length with their physician and their family members, and should take into consideration their personal values and goals as well as the stage of their disease. The answer is generally geared towards whether they are looking to prolong their lives – a curative approach –  or simply to improve the quality of their life, which is considered a palliative approach. Where aggressive surgery was once a protocol reserved only for those seeking to extend their survival, a new study out of Loyola University indicates that it offers a good option for all patients, and that those who have had pleurectomy and decortication report improved abilities and reduced discomfort.

The results were released by thoractic surgeon Wickii Vigneswaran, M.D., at this week’s American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. A professor in the department of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, he says that it is a mistake to avoid the surgery, as rather than weakening patients as originally feared, it actually can lead to an improved level of function and vitality. Vigneswaran and his fellow researchers followed 114 mesothelioma patients, all of whom submitted to the aggressive form of surgery which removes both the tumor itself and the pleural lining of the lungs.

Upon following up with the patients one month following surgery and then again at intervals of 4 to 5 months, 7 to 8 months and 10 to 11 months there was consistent improvement in quality of life. They measured overall functioning, general symptoms and items such as shortness of breath, insomnia, diarrhea, and even financial difficulties to reach their conclusion that not only were patients not adversely affected, but had in fact shown improvement.

“The net benefit of pleurectomy and decortication justifies the procedure in the majority of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma,” Dr. Vigneswaran concluded.

For patients diagnosed with mesothelioma, this is welcome news, as left untreated the rare and always fatal disease not only shortens their lives dramatically but causes significant pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, the treatment approach can be astronomically expensive, and patients and their families are often decimated economically. At Danziger & De Llano, we can help you to get compensation for your medical expenses, as well as the pain and suffering that you and your family are experiencing, from those who are responsible for your illness. Contact us today to learn about how our mesothelioma law firm can help you prepare a lawsuit against the asbestos companies and get you the justice you deserve.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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