Undergoing pleurectomy and decortication (PD) for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) generally leads to improved quality of life after the surgery. These findings were presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.
Many patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma avoid the operation because they fear it will degrade their quality of life. The disease is caused by environmental factors such as asbestos exposure and by a genetic predisposition to the cancer.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma develops in the pleura, the thin layer of tissue surrounding the lungs. As the tumor grows, it restricts the lungs, typically causing shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, and/or chest discomfort and pain. Pleurectomy and decortication involves removal of the pleura. Although the procedure cannot cure mesothelioma, it can help control the buildup of fluid, improve breathing, and lessen cancer pain.
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