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West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

West Los Angeles VA Medical Center treats U.S. military veterans with mesothelioma from across the country. This medical center’s mesothelioma program is run by Dr. Robert Cameron, a world-renowned cancer specialist who invented a lung-sparing surgery to treat pleural mesothelioma.

About West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center is a top treatment center for military veterans with mesothelioma. U.S. veterans with health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can come here to get treated for pleural mesothelioma.

The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center is part of the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System (VAGLAHS). As one of the VA’s largest health care facilities, VAGLAHS serves more than 1.4 million veterans in Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.

Highlights of VAGLAHS include:

  • Completes over 1.3 million outpatient and 8,000 inpatient visits annually
  • 11 locations
  • 2 ambulatory care centers
  • 716 operational beds, including surgical, intensive care, and inpatient mental health
  • 9 community-based outpatient clinics

Eligibility to be treated at this VA hospital is open to any veteran with mesothelioma. You do not need to live in the Los Angeles area.

For more information on veterans’ support, treatment options, locating top cancer treatment centers, and more, order our free mesothelioma guide now.

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U.S. Military Veterans and Mesothelioma

The VA has invested in developing one of the nation’s top mesothelioma treatment programs at the West Los Angeles VA. This is because one-third of mesothelioma patients are veterans.

Having a comprehensive and highly specialized mesothelioma treatment program within the VA Health Care System gives veterans with mesothelioma access to high-quality, affordable health care.

While not all veterans seek mesothelioma treatment through the VA, the option to do so is a major advantage for many.

West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Location and Overview

The West Los Angeles VA is located at 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90073.

Here are some things to know about the West Los Angeles VA:

  • The mesothelioma program is run by Dr. Robert Cameron, creator of a crucial lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery called the pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) procedure
  • Patients typically receive multimodal treatment that includes long-term maintenance to minimize recurrence (when cancer returns).
  • Treatments used include surgery, immunotherapy, cryotherapy (freeze therapy), chemotherapy, radiation, and more.

Mesothelioma Specialists at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

Patients treated at the West Los Angeles VA have the advantage of access to Dr. Robert Cameron — one of the top two mesothelioma specialists working with military veterans. He has been treating pleural mesothelioma patients for more than 20 years and has significantly impacted mesothelioma treatment development.

For example, he developed the P/D surgery to treat pleural mesothelioma without removing a patient’s lung. This allows the patients to recover in less time than if a lung was removed and comes with a lower risk of complications. He’s performed this surgery hundreds of times on mesothelioma patients.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Robert B. Cameron. The contact information above is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Cameron directly.

Dr. Cameron is head of the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at UCLA Medical Center and the Mesothelioma Program at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. The UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program is often considered the best program of its kind on the West Coast because of Dr. Cameron’s guidance and vision.

Dr. Cameron is also the co-founder and former director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation — the first medical research foundation to specialize in mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment.

Further, Dr. Cameron has written or co-authored more than 35 peer-reviewed papers in oncology, thoracic surgery, and other related subjects, making him an authority in mesothelioma treatment and research.

If you would like help finding the best mesothelioma specialist for you and your family, use our free doctor match tool now.

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Mesothelioma Treatment at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

Experts agree that the best way to treat mesothelioma is with a multidisciplinary approach. This means patients see various experts in different fields who work together to ensure that patients have the best possible quality of life.

While mesothelioma treatment looks slightly different for each patient, at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, it generally involves surgery, radiation, and long-term maintenance.

Mesothelioma treatments used at the West Los Angeles VA include:

  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D): In this lung-sparing surgery, the lung’s lining is removed to eliminate tumors. This allows doctors to remove as much of the cancer as possible while keeping the patient’s lungs intact. The alternative is lung-removal surgery, which offers a similar survival time but a higher risk of complications.
  • Bronchial and Esophageal Stent Insertion: This involves inserting bronchial (airway) or esophageal stents, which help the patient breathe by opening up areas that may have narrowed from the tumors.
  • Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS): To determine which cell type a patient has (which can impact treatment options) a surgeon will remove a small part of the diseased lung through 3 small incisions.
  • Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): In IMRT, a computer is used to control X-ray accelerators to give a high-level dosage of radiation directly to the tumor while minimizing the damage to surrounding tissues.
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): SBRT, also known as radiosurgery, happens over a relatively short period (less than two weeks instead of 6-8 weeks like many other radiotherapies). Using the Novalis Tx image-guided system, the patient is given a highly concentrated dose of radiation via image-guided localization to kill the tumor without severely damaging the healthy organs.
  • Cryoablation: In cryoablation, the cancer is frozen with a gas pumped through a tiny needle called a cryoprobe. This freezing process kills the cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells by circulating them through the blood.
  • Immunotherapy: With immunotherapy, a patient is given specialized drugs to stimulate the body’s immune system so it can kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy shows the immune system how to recognize cancer cells and teaches the body how to fight them.

West Los Angeles VA Medical Center can treat any mesothelioma cell type, including the typically hard-to-treat sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

Further, as part of the patient’s long-term support, they will be seen for a follow-up visit every 3-6 months. They will receive regular CT scans so their medical team can catch the cancer’s return as early as possible (if it comes back at all).

Getting Mesothelioma Treatment at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

Veterans seeking mesothelioma treatment at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center don’t need to worry if they live outside of California.

The mesothelioma program accepts veterans from across the country due to the specialized nature of the disease. However, veterans do need to be enrolled in the VA Health Care System, which doesn’t always happen automatically.

To receive help through this process, contact our Patient Advocates. They can answer your questions and connect you with a VA Claims Agent as needed.

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Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by West Los Angeles VA. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact West Los Angeles VA directly.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

References
  1. Lee, S. (n.d.). Chemotherapy. Canadian Cancer Society. Retrieved December 10, 2022, from https://cancer.ca/en/treatments/treatment-types/chemotherapy

  2. The Pacific Mesothelioma Center: Mesothelioma Help: PMC. The Pacific Mesothelioma Center. (2022, October 27). Retrieved December 10, 2022, from https://pacificmesocenter.org/

  3. Robert B. Cameron, MD. UCLA Health System. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2022, from https://www.uclahealth.org/providers/robert-cameron

  4. VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2022, from https://www.va.gov/greater-los-angeles-health-care/

  5. Veterans Asbestos Exposure. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022, October 12). Retrieved December 10, 2022, from https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/asbestos/

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