Dr. Robert Cameron on Treating Mesothelioma – Debunking the Myths about P/D -
In 1994, Dr. Robert B. Cameron began to develop his specific “radical” lung-sparing pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) surgical procedure as a more rational and less radical alternative to the popular radical extra-pleural pneumonectomy(EPP) surgical procedure for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).
Over the last 16 years, Dr. Cameron has modified, improved, and performed the intricate operation hundreds of times and with more painstaking tedious precision than practically any other surgeon. Why did Dr. Cameron feel so strongly that this was the “right” procedure?
“There are a number of compelling reasons,” Dr. Cameron states, “and there are a number of misconceptions or myths that confuse surgeons and patients alike.” Dr. Cameron addresses these myths below and in the coming weeks in this column so that patients (and surgeons) have the foundation to rationally evaluate their surgical options.
Myth #4: Talc Pleurodesis Prevents Surgeons from Performing a Pleurectomy Operation
February 15, 2011. People with mesothelioma frequently develop breathing problems as one of their first symptoms or clues that something is wrong. This shortness of breath is mostly due to fluid that accumulates inside the chest and “around” but not “in” the lung (pleural effusion).
The fluid prevents the lung from expanding with much needed oxygen. If it’s large enough, it may require physicians to perform drainage procedures with a needle (thoracentesis), a tube (thoracostomy or chest tube), or a “VATS”/“thoracoscopy” procedure that also may include “insufflation” (a fancy term used to describe the “blowing”) of talc powder into the chest. Click here for more.
Myth #3: Mesothelioma Tumor in the Lung “Fissures” Cannot Be Removed Without Also Removing the Entire Lung January 27, 2011. The lungs have two (left) and three (right) distinct “units” called lobes. These lobes are attached to the center of each lung by both blood vessels and airways in much the same way that grapes are held together by their stems. They also are separated from each other by breaks called fissures, which essentially are lung or “visceral” pleura extensions that cut like a knife deep into the lung tissue and separate the various lobes. Click here for more
Myth #2: A More Radical Operation That Takes Out the Pericardium and Diaphragm for Bigger Margins is a Better Operation
January 11, 2011. Some surgeons claim that removing the heart sack (pericardium) and the muscle between the chest and abdomen (diaphragm) are necessary to achieve “adequate” margins in mesothelioma tumor surgery. What is a “margin?” In traditional surgical oncology (cancer surgery), surgeons are trained to remove a reasonable amount of healthy normal tissue around tumors (if such exists) to assure that all the tumor cells have been removed. This is a fundamental surgical oncology practice of obtaining “adequate margins.” The surgeon removes the visible tumor together with a “buffer zone” of normal tissue. Click here for more.
Myth #1: A More Radical Operation Obviously Provides Better Results Than a Less Radical Surgical Procedure
January 3, 2011. Often when confronted with a large obstacle, people naturally chose a “bigger” weapon. In movies and computer games characters are portrayed as being more powerful if they possess a bigger arsenal of guns (or other weapons). In the 1994 movie, The Mask, for instance, when Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) dons the mysterious mask and is confronted with villains armed with normal handguns, he magically pulls out an entire arsenal of weapons and promptly wins the battle. Mesothelioma is not equivalent to a comedy movie and surgeons (also wearing masks!) cannot just pull out the most radical operation possible and expect to win the day. Click here for more.
Interested in Learning More? If you have been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma and would like to learn more about Dr. Cameron’s approach to treating the disease, you may contact his office at (310) 470-8980. Dr. Cameron sees patients in consultation at his Los Angeles, California clinic located at: 10780 Santa Monica Boulevard Suite 100 Los Angeles, California 90025-7613 If you are traveling from out of town and would like assistance with travel arrangements, contact the Pacific Meso Center at (310) 478-4678 or email@example.com.