A large-scale retrospective analysis has shown that surgery, used alongside chemotherapy, helped malignant pleural mesothelioma patients live for an average of six months longer. Mesothelioma is both rare and deadly, affecting between 2,000 and 3,000 people annually in the U.S. It’s caused by exposure to asbestos, and the symptoms don’t usually emerge until decades after the fact. Two new pieces of information released in 2019 shed new light on how beneficial surgery may be for sufferers of this disease in Pennsylvania.
Surgery increases life expectancy
Mesothelioma patients who receive surgical treatments in addition to chemotherapy may experience the benefits of increased life expectancy and relief from symptoms. With the addition of surgery to combination chemotherapy, the median overall survival rate went up to 22 months. Without surgery, patients were only living a median of 16 months.
Reviewing previous studies
In general, this is a disease that has an extremely poor survival rate. The fact that this also contributes to a high mortality rate among surgical patients has generated controversy around whether surgery is helpful or not. The new data, which includes the retrospective review in addition to an analysis from the National Cancer Database, shed clearer light on the surgical benefits.
The problem with previous data is that it was lacking in histological details and had a lack of information in general. There were also notable selection biases that the weighing of this data had to be balanced against. What the 2019 findings are pointing toward is a clear positive correlation with mesothelioma patients who opted for surgery.
Although there is still controversy surrounding the science, those suffering from mesothelioma may experience benefits by adding surgery to their existing treatment. This treatment may be more costly, so patients who developed the disease due to asbestos exposure may want to seek compensation from the liable party to pay for treatment.