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Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive type of cancer that is difficult to treat, which is why it is so important to find the best available care. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’ll want to begin researching mesothelioma treatment centers as soon as possible.

What to Look for In Mesothelioma Treatment Care

Knowing what to ask and how to evaluate whether or not a particular cancer center or clinic is right for you can be a difficult task. Every case of mesothelioma is unique and each patient will have a different set of needs when it comes to choosing and administering a course of treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to locate a specialized oncologist who will take the time to explain available options and accompany the patient through every phase of his or her treatment.

Look for physicians who are actively involved in research, which generally signals that they are up to date with the latest treatment protocols. Partnering with doctors and medical professionals who are already known experts in their field is an excellent way to increase the chances of a favorable outcome.

Treatment Begins with a Complete Examination

The best treatment centers will always confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma and do a range of tests to determine the stage and progression of the cancer. These steps are crucial to ensure a diagnosis is accurate and that the treatment plan developed is the best for the patient.

Doctors will generally conduct a range of physical exams, health history analyses, and diagnostic evaluations in an effort to better understand the nature of the disease and how far it has advanced. These exams are likely to include a biopsy, fluid test, PET scan, CT scan, and/or MRI. These exams will then likely be repeated throughout a patient’s course of treatment in order to determine how the mesothelioma responds to particular therapies. However, a thorough and accurate diagnosis is the first step in developing an effective treatment plan.

Medical professionals will rely heavily on these tests to determine each patient’s individualized treatment plan. However, mesothelioma patients, as with all cancer patients, should always seek multiple opinions before deciding upon a course of treatment. Though two doctors may be experts in their fields, it is unlikely that all will prescribe the same treatment plan.

If a patient is interested in participating in experimental mesothelioma treatments or clinical trials, ask medical staff for advice and conduct research in advance to determine which clinics and centers are currently conducting studies.

A Mesothelioma Team is Better Than One Doctor

Because mesothelioma can be a highly unpredictable and aggressive disease, it’s critical that patients gather a team of specialized oncologists and medical professionals with experience in treating patients with similar conditions. This medical team will be dedicated to curing the cancer, as well as managing side effects and symptoms resulting from the disease as well as from the treatment.

It is not uncommon for mesothelioma patients to receive nutrition therapy, naturopathic therapy, oncology rehabilitation, survivorship support, pain management, mind-body medicine, and spiritual support. Whenever possible, it is helpful to have as many of these services available under the same roof – but it is most important to explore the range of treatment services available to mesothelioma patients.

A Treatment Center Should Fit Your Needs

As much as possible, attempt to evaluate how attentive the medical staff is to your needs. Certain centers will be outfitted with the latest medical equipment, designed to make scans and tests as comfortable for patients as possible. Receiving chemotherapy and radiation can be lengthy procedures, and it is surprising just how important small details become when they serve to ease a patient’s discomfort.

Chances are you will find that the majority of the major mesothelioma treatment centers and clinics in the United States are equipped with the latest equipment and treatment options available. Simply feeling comfortable is important too, though. Never hesitate to question the level of care you are getting as a patient.

Finding a Treatment Center Near You

Numerous online databases are available to help patients find a quality treatment center in their area. These resources can significantly reduce the headaches and frustration involved in researching specialists. Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience, but researching the available options and partnering with a skilled medical team will reveal the steps you can take on the path to recovery.

Top Mesothelioma Treatment Centers in the U.S.

With such a rare and aggressive type of cancer, it makes sense to seek out those treatment centers that specialize in mesothelioma research and treatment. A great cancer center may provide excellent treatment, but it cannot give you the specialized care nor does it have the specialized knowledge as compared to a center with specialists devoted to mesothelioma. There are several top cancer centers in the U.S. that also top the list for helping patients with mesothelioma. If you can travel to one of these medical centers, you will receive top care.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

The MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston is highly regarded as one of the all-around best cancer treatment centers in the country. It hopes to “Make Cancer History” through a focus on research, treatment, and prevention. One of the areas of specialty here is diagnosing all types of lung and chest cancers, including pericardial and pleural mesothelioma. The MD Anderson Cancer Center also participates in numerous clinical trials and conducts all kinds of cancer research, giving patients even more options for treatment.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is a premier cancer center in its own right, but it also partners with other medical centers including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, to provide the best care. The Hospital is home to the International Mesothelioma Program, a program devoted to developing the newest and most effective treatments for pleural mesothelioma. The program treats nearly 200 patients each year and research here led to the innovative extrapleural pneumonectomy surgical technique. This unique surgery has extended the lives of numerous pleural mesothelioma patients.

The Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland

The Cleveland Clinic is a world-renowned hospital and one of the best medical centers in Ohio, and it provides treatment for patients along with research and training. The Cancer Institute focuses on the research of lung-related cancers, including mesothelioma. The staff includes oncologists, radiologists, thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, and other specialists in diagnosing and treating mesothelioma. Research conducted here focuses on lung cancer and mesothelioma and includes the study of every subtype of these illnesses, no matter how rare or obscure. This is also a large medical center that can treat thousands of patients at once with its many beds and large staff.

The Pacific Mesothelioma Center at the Pacific Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Los Angeles

The Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC) is a division of the Pacific Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and partners with the University of California, Los Angeles and the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The PMC was founded in 2012 to serve as a cancer center that is innovative in both research and treatment and that focuses on pleural mesothelioma. Many of the treatments available and being developed here are aimed at increasing longevity for patients. The approach of the experts here is that mesothelioma is not fatal, rather a chronic illness.

Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City

One of the oldest and  most respected medical centers in the country, Mount Sinai covers a range of illnesses but is staffed by a couple of the world’s top experts on mesothelioma. Drs. Raja Flores and Daniel Labow are leading experts in pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma, respectively. Dr. Labow also helped develop hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, the innovative treatment that involves injecting heated chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdomen. Mount Sinai also leads the way in multimodal treatments for mesothelioma patients.

Mesothelioma Treatment Center, Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute, Houston

The Baylor College of Medicine Lung Institute in Houston houses the Mesothelioma Treatment Center and is recognized as a leader in the U.S. and in the world in diagnosing and treating mesothelioma. The experts here work in teams to provide patients with comprehensive and individualized care. The Center also focuses on research, including clinical trials that provide patients with a chance to try cutting edge medical and surgical treatments for mesothelioma. Patients here can also expect to have their medical care coordinated with other types of support from social workers to therapists, and even spiritual guides.

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