Houston, TX—The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is poised to provide new hope to patients suffering from the deadly asbestos cancer mesothelioma. Not only does the cancer center have over 30 full-time mesothelioma specialists on staff, it also offers an array of clinical trials and other programs to assist with mesothelioma patients’ wellness in all areas.
Approximately 150 mesothelioma patients each year receive the highest standard of care from the qualified staff at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Each of these patients has a team of doctors – including radiologists, oncologists, and pulmonary specialists – providing care for their case. In addition, patients can benefit from the expertise of social workers who provide assistance with the practical and emotional aspects of dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Since mesothelioma is such a rare cancer, affecting only 3 percent of cancer patients nationally, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is one of only a handful of cancer centers around the world that has a dedicated program for this asbestos cancer. Yet mesothelioma is an aggressive, severe cancer. It originates in the mesothelium, which consists of the peritoneum surrounding the abdomen, the pericardium surrounding the heart, and the pleura of the lungs. Most often, mesothelioma affects the pleura, in which case it is usually referred to as malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Almost all cases of mesothelioma can be traced directly to asbestos exposure, since that building and insulating material has been recognized as carcinogenic. Often, the disease remains latent within the body for up to 50 years after the toxic exposure, at which time it has progressed to late stages. Mesothelioma currently has no cure, but thanks to the research and clinical studies at Anderson, in addition to the physicians’ dedication to improving quality of life and advanced treatment solutions, patients can receive care in order to extend their life expectancy.