Mesothelioma is a cancer that can affect the lining of the chest or abdomen. This is most often associated with asbestos exposure that happened many years ago.
Whilst there is not a cure for this diagnosis we can offer treatments that aim to extend your life expectancy.
We are able to offer surgery for mesothelioma of the chest, and drug treatments for mesothelioma of the chest and abdomen.
Further information is available on the Mesothelioma UK or Macmillan websites.
It is likely you will have CT scans to help make your diagnosis and throughout your care to help guide treatment planning.
We sometimes need different types of investigations alongside these CT scans.
We will discuss all planned investigations with you. You will also be told when you can expect to get results from any investigations.
Your treatment options
Treatment options for Mesothelioma include surgery, drug treatments and radiotherapy.
Not all of these treatments are suitable for everybody.
They can each be used at different times.
We have a weekly multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT) where we discuss what investigations and treatment options may be best for you at any given time.
You do not attend the meeting but at your clinic appointments we will discuss your treatment plan with you. If you don't understand what you've been told, let us know so we can explain again.
Further information about types of treatment is available on the Macmillan or Mesothelioma UK websites.
You will see your specialist doctor in a clinic appointment after the multidisciplinary team has met.
Your doctor might talk to you about:
- The aims of treatment
- Possible side effects
- How treatment might affect you
- You can also talk to them about any concerns you may have.
It may be a good idea to take someone with you when the treatment options are first explained. You may also find it useful to have a list of questions ready to make sure you get the information you need.
All surgery and radiotherapy is performed at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Most drug therapies are given at St Bartholomew’s Hospital but some can be given at Newham Hospital or Whipps Cross Hospital .
If you need hospital transport, this can be arranged. In some cases we can also help with the cost of transport please ask your specialist nurse or visit the Macmillan Information Centre at the hospital.
Your care team
A doctor trained in looking after conditions affecting the lungs and doing some of the tests required to make a cancer diagnosis
A doctor trained in treating cancer patients with chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiotherapy.
A surgeon who specialises in operating on the chest and lungs.
A doctor who is expert in interpreting x-rays and scans. They may also perform biopsies (taking tissue samples) with the aid of imaging techniques.
A doctor who looks at tissue samples under a microscope to search for cancer cells.
Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
An experienced Mesothelioma UK nurse who acts as your key worker. They will give you advice and support as you go through investigations and treatment.
Information for professionals
GP referrals for suspected mesothelioma should be made via the trust multi-disciplinary rapid access diagnostic centre using the dedicated referral form and sending it via ERS.
The service can be found under 2WW – suspected lung and pleural cancer.