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Wisconsin Researchers Find Absence of Surgery Has Deadly Results

For those who have been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma and who are unsure as to whether or not to undergo surgery for treatment of the condition, a recent study out of the Medical College of Wisconsin should prove helpful. The study, conducted by surgical oncologists, has determined that those patients that did not undergo surgery for the treatment of their malignant peritoneal mesothelioma would have survived far longer had they undergone the procedure.

The study analyzed survival statistics from more than 1,5000 patients who had been treated between the years 1973 and 2010. It utilized the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) database, which is a program of the National Cancer Institute designed to provide epidemiologic information regarding cancer.  The database covers approximately 28% of the population, and is considered the only comprehensive source of cancer information that includes stages and survival information.

The information that the researchers were able to obtain from their review of the SEER data showed that of 1,591 identified peritoneal mesothelioma patients with a median age of 74 years old, 61.6% chose against a surgical treatment regimen for their cancer, despite the data that showed that it offered a significantly extended survival rate. Those who did chose the surgery lived four times longer than those who did not, with an average survival of 20 months for those who had the surgery versus just four months for those who did not.  Though different types of surgeries were included in the study results, even those who had the less invasive surgical procedures showed a significantly longer survival period.

According to John Miura, MD and the study’s lead author, “In the current era, approximately three of every five patients do not receive surgery when diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. The opportunity to improve patient survival with surgical therapy is lost in a significant number of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma patients.”

The information is somewhat skewed by the extensive period of time that the SEER data represented: surgical procedures have improved dramatically in the last forty years, so that those who undergo surgery are likely to have even better results today. By way of example, the survival rates for those who underwent the peritoneal mesothelioma surgery in the early nineties was fifteen months, while fifteen years later that had expanded to a period of 38 months.

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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