Study Finds Surgery May Decrease Lung Function in Mesothelioma Patients with Few Symptoms, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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New research out of the University of Chicago may give some mesothelioma patients reason to rethink surgery.

Surgery Not Helpful for Mesothelioma Patients with Minimal Symptoms

Mesothelioma Patients and EPD Surgery

Extended pleurectomy and decortication…had a negative impact on pulmonary function in minimally symptomatic patients.

Surgeons in the University’s Division of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery have released findings showing that minimally symptomatic mesothelioma patients actually felt worse and had more difficulty breathing after EPD surgery than before it. Click here to read the full story, just posted on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

EPD removes the pleural lining as well as mesothelioma tumors in the chest cavity. But researchers say it is not likely to improve quality of life for patients whose overall health is still good.

“Extended pleurectomy and decortication…had a negative impact on pulmonary function in minimally symptomatic patients,” writes lead author David Burkholder, BS.

Mesothelioma patients whose overall health was more fragile got more benefit from the surgery; they experienced improved quality of life, although their lung function remained the same.

“The decision of whether or not to have surgery is one of the most critical decisions that mesothelioma patients have to make,” says Surviving Mesothelioma Managing Editor, Alex Strauss. “These findings may help make that decision easier for some patients.”

For a better understanding of which patients may benefit most from EPD surgery and why, see Surgery May Not Improve Life for Mesothelioma Patients with Minimal Symptoms, now available on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Burkholder, D et al, “Effects of Extended Pleurectomy and Decortication on Quality of Life and Pulmonary Function in Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma:, March 28, 2015, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Cancer Monthy
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