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Is surgery for pleural mesothelioma worth the risk?

Over the years, the treatments have changed a lot for mesothelioma. There have been advancements and trends, and while there is still no cure for this terrible disease, at any given moment there is always one course of action that claims to be better than the rest.

Depending on your specific diagnosis, your doctor might recommend surgery. Deciding on your best choice often involves an analysis of what you are willing to endure to extend your life. While your doctor is the best person to give you treatment advice, here are some issues to discuss with him or her:

When is surgery an option?

First, your doctor will help you know when you are healthy enough to go through surgery. The surgery you choose will also determine other treatment options for your specific situation.

The complexity of this lung surgery varies depending on how advanced the cancer is. That could mean anything from an incision to remove cancer cells to removal of an entire lung.

What is the impact on your quality of life?

The difficulty with surgery for pleural mesothelioma is that it affects the lungs. Even when the surgeon is successful at removing most or all the cancer cells, healthy tissue is removed as well. Removing tissue from the lungs can make it harder to breathe and engage in the activities you may have enjoyed before surgery.

In fact, surgery has been dismissed by some physicians because it would have too great an impact on quality of life.

Deciding to move forward with surgery

When you are considering surgery as part of your treatment plan, team up with your doctor so that you understand the impact it will have on your everyday life. Your doctor will also be able to help you understand the effect surgery has on your prognosis.

Once you know your options, talk to your family and other loved ones. These are the people who know you best and who have supported you up to this point. While, ultimately, the decisions regarding your treatment plan are up to you, the people in your support network may be able to give valuable input to help you with your decision.

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