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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

You have mesothelioma. We're here to help.

A mesothelioma diagnosis is life-changing. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we’re here to help you and your loved ones make a more informed treatment decision. We encourage you to explore this area to learn more about the disease, what lies ahead and your treatment options.

Hear inspiring patient stories. Learn how our doctors create a personalized treatment plan for your diagnosis and needs. And if you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of cancer experts. We’re here to help you make sense of it all.

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Learn About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium, the thin membrane that lines the cavities of the body, such as the pleural cavity in the lungs and the peritoneal cavity in the stomach. An uncommon disease that affects 3,000 Americans a year, mostly over the age of 65, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, which was used in construction materials for many years. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain, difficulty swallowing and a dry cough.

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Mesothelioma Diagnostic Evaluations

Mesothelioma is often diagnosed with the help of a CT scan, which may help locate the cancer, and/or an MRI, used to inspect the diaphragm for signs of disease. When an MRI or CT scan alone is not enough, patients may undergo a PET/CT scan, a nuclear imaging technique that detects information about the structure and function of cells and tissues. An endoscopic biopsy may be warranted in some situations to obtain a tissue sample for examination under a microscope.

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Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Mesothelioma is treated in three main ways: with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Patients with stage I, II or III pleural mesothelioma are typically treated with a combination of all three therapies. If microscopic disease remains after surgery, your oncologist may recommend radiation therapy to destroy leftover cancer cells. Radiation treatments may also be used to alleviate chest pain, shortness of breath or swallowing difficulties. For patients with inoperable, stage IV disease, chemotherapy is typically recommended.

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Mesothelioma Supportive Care Services

Mesothelioma patients often experience side effects caused by treatments. Surgery, for example, may cause pain, weakness and scarring. Patients who receive chemotherapy may struggle with nausea and hair loss, while radiation treatments such as external beam radiation may cause skin changes or fatigue. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our doctors are committed to a whole-person approach, helping patients manage these challenges by providing a range of evidence-informed supportive care services.

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