What Is a Mesothelioma Doctor?
Mesothelioma doctors specialize in diagnosing, treating, and researching mesothelioma. Since malignant mesothelioma is so rare, some general cancer doctors (oncologists) may not be as comfortable treating mesothelioma as they are with more common forms of cancer.
Registered Nurse Amy Fair discusses the types of doctors you need on your team when being diagnosed and treated for mesothelioma. View Transcript.
Duration: 1 min 01 sec
Who should be on my medical team for treatment?
The health professionals that should be on your team starts with your primary medical doctor because you may have other comorbidities or things your taking medication for or diseases. Normally that referral goes into a pulmonologist or a gastroenterologist depending on what type of mesothelioma you have, whether it be pleural or peritoneal. That will normally proceed into a surgical component, surgeon, and then lead into an oncology or radiology component. It’s also very important that you have a nutritionist on this team. Many facilities have what they call a tumor board that comprises these disciplines together. The continuity of care of phenomenal with a tumor board.
Patients have a better chance of living longer with mesothelioma when they receive treatment from the best doctors in the field. These top mesothelioma oncologists work at renowned cancer centers to create effective treatment plans with the help of multidisciplinary teams.
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of mesothelioma doctors:
- Medical oncologists: Doctors who use chemotherapy and other medications to treat mesothelioma
- Radiation oncologists: Doctors who treat mesothelioma with radiation therapy
- Surgical oncologists: Doctors who perform surgery to treat mesothelioma
Mesothelioma doctors often specialize in one type of mesothelioma since cancer requires vastly different treatments depending on where it first develops. That said, all doctors agree that patients often have better outcomes if the cancer is diagnosed early on, as it will be easier to treat.
It’s important to get the best care possible to treat your mesothelioma. Use our Free Doctor Match to find a mesothelioma specialist near you.
Top Pleural Mesothelioma Doctors
It is crucial to find a mesothelioma doctor who specializes in the type of mesothelioma you have been diagnosed with. This ensures you are getting the best care possible.
Pleural mesothelioma specialists are doctors that treat mesothelioma that forms in the lining of the lungs (pleura).
In the last 20 years, some of these mesothelioma experts have pioneered groundbreaking new methods of surgery that have resulted in more positive outcomes for patients.
Learn about top pleural mesothelioma specialists below.
Dr. Raja Flores
- 20+ years of experience
- Can perform both of the top pleural mesothelioma surgeries: extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy with decortication (P/D)
- Chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York
- Established the video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York
- Mentored by the late world-renowned surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker
Dr. Marcelo DaSilva
- 20+ years of experience
- Chief of Thoracic Surgery Services and Medical Director of the Cancer Institute at AdventHealth in Orlando, FL
- Experience in treating both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma
- Specializes in and developed heated chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma
Dr. Raphael Bueno
- 20+ years of experience
- Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Co-director of Brigham and Women’s Lung Center
- Director of the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
Dr. Taylor Ripley
- 15+ years of experience
- Conducts research in cancer profiling and cellular mutations
- Director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine’s Lung Institute in Houston
- Specializes in robotic thoracic surgery and video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)
These thoracic surgeons are only a handful of top pleural mesothelioma specialists around the country.
Use our Free Doctor Match to find a mesothelioma specialist near you today.
Top Peritoneal Mesothelioma Doctors
Peritoneal mesothelioma doctors treat cancer in the lining of the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum) and nearby organs. Mesothelioma in this area can result in numerous tumors throughout the inside of the abdomen.
Learn about top peritoneal mesothelioma doctors below.
Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
- 30+ years of experience
- Director of the Mesothelioma Program and the Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Specializes in cytoreduction with HIPEC, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy
- Researches new treatment methods for both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma
Dr. Richard Alexander
- 40+ years of experience
- Chief Surgical Officer at Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Brunswick, New Jersey
- Former medical officer in the U.S. Navy
- Specializes in cytoreduction with HIPEC and targeted therapy
Dr. Mecker Möller
- 15+ years of experience
- Affiliated with both the Sylvester Cancer Center and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami
- Leader of the cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) program at the University of Miami
- Specializes in HIPEC procedures
Other Top Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma SpecialistsFind more mesothelioma doctors here:
- Dr. Amit Patel
- Dr. Anne Tsao
- Dr. Avi Lebenthal
- Dr. Brian Loggie
- Dr. Claire Verschraegen
- Dr. Daniel Labow
- Dr. David Harpole Jr.
- Dr. David Jablons
- Dr. Edward Levine
- Dr. Eric Vallieres
- Dr. Farid Gharagozloo
- Dr. Harvey Pass
- Dr. Jacques Fontaine
- Dr. Joel Baumgartner
- Dr. Joseph Friedberg
- Dr. Kamran Idrees
- Dr. Lary Robinson
- Dr. Martin Goodman
- Dr. Matthew Steliga
- Dr. Michele Carbone
- Dr. Raffit Hassan
- Dr. Richard Berri
- Dr. Rodney Landreneau
- Dr. Ryan Holbrook
- Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
- Dr. Thierry Jahan
- Dr. Wickii Vigneswaran
- Dr. David Sugarbaker
- Dr. Paul Sugarbaker
- Dr. Robert Cameron
Explore top doctors, new treatments, and much more in our Free Mesothelioma Guide — packed with nearly 100 pages of information to help you fight this cancer.
Other Types of Mesothelioma Specialists
The vast majority of mesothelioma cases are pleural or peritoneal. However, there are other rare forms of the disease, including pericardial mesothelioma (which forms in the heart lining) and testicular mesothelioma (which forms in the testicle lining).
Although pericardial and testicular mesothelioma are both very rare, there are doctors and cancer centers who can treat these patients.
Learn more about doctors who specialize in rare types of mesothelioma below.
Pericardial Mesothelioma Doctors
Pericardial mesothelioma is extremely uncommon and accounts for less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases, according to the American Cancer Society. Doctors can treat pericardial mesothelioma by surgically removing tumors from the heart lining (pericardium).
Unfortunately, many cases of pericardial mesothelioma go undetected until the patient has passed away and an autopsy is performed to determine the cause of death.
Even though this type of cancer is rare, there are specialists who can diagnose and treat patients with pericardial mesothelioma. For example, some of the nation’s top pleural mesothelioma surgeons are also trained cardiac surgeons, such as Dr. Amit Patel.
Testicular Mesothelioma Doctors
Testicular mesothelioma is even rarer than pericardial mesothelioma. It causes a tumor in the lining surrounding the testes (tunica vaginalis), which leads to fluid buildup in the scrotum.
Even though this type of mesothelioma is extremely rare, patients can connect with cancer specialists who can help treat their condition.
What to Look for in a Mesothelioma Doctor
Choosing the right mesothelioma doctor is a key part of improving your life expectancy. You and your family should feel comfortable with your care team and trust that you are in good hands.
When researching doctors, you should look for a specialist who focuses on treating your type of mesothelioma. Doctors who’ve seen cases similar to yours will know which cancer treatment options may be available to help you live longer or ease your symptoms.
There are several important characteristics to consider when seeking treatment from a mesothelioma specialist.
Learn more about what to look for in a mesothelioma doctor below.
Check to see how many years of experience a mesothelioma doctor has diagnosing and treating patients with this type of cancer.
Health care professionals who have seen many mesothelioma patients will usually have deeper knowledge of how the disease responds to treatment. This can help them understand which treatment methods will be most effective in your case.
Since mesothelioma is so rare and complex, very few patients are familiar with the cancer until they are faced with it. You need a doctor who can clearly and considerately explain your diagnosis to you and your loved ones.
Find a doctor willing to take the time to answer your questions and concerns with care and competence. Top mesothelioma doctors will be compassionate and thorough when explaining your disease and treatment options.
You should also find out if the mesothelioma specialist works at a cancer center that’s close to where you live.
Thankfully, there are plenty of cancer centers in the United States staffed with top mesothelioma specialists so you can get treatment nearby.
If you do have to travel a long distance for cancer care, your doctor or hospital may be able to recommend resources to help pay for travel and lodging expenses. Our team can also check if you’re eligible for financial assistance — call (866) 608-8933 now to see if you qualify.
It is important to consider the treatment options each doctor uses when choosing a specialist. Mesothelioma doctors provide different treatments depending on their specialty.
Common mesothelioma treatment options include:
- Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells in the affected area
- Clinical trials to test newly developed therapies that may improve your prognosis
- Radiation to kill cancer cells in localized areas
- Surgery to remove all or some of your tumors or to relieve symptoms
In many cases, your decision might depend on what treatment(s) will most effectively fight your type and stage of mesothelioma.
Download our Free Questions to Ask Your Doctor Checklist today so you get the answers you need when meeting with a mesothelioma specialist.
How to Prepare for a Mesothelioma Specialist Appointment
During your first appointment, the mesothelioma specialist will typically discuss your diagnosis, symptoms, prior test results, medical history, and potential treatment methods. It’s important to plan ahead to get the most out of your doctor’s visit.
Here are some ways to prepare for an appointment with a mesothelioma doctor:
- Gather any work history that highlights your asbestos exposure.
- Have your list of questions handy so you don’t forget to ask something.
- Make a list of your mesothelioma symptoms and daily medications.
- Request relevant medical records and imaging scans. If possible, try to arrange for the doctor to access these digitally ahead of time.
Additionally, you might consider taking a trusted loved one along to offer their support and take notes (since you’ll likely receive a lot of information during the visit). This can be especially useful in the future when you’re making decisions about the next steps in your treatment process.
Get Help Finding a Top Mesothelioma Doctor Near You
A mesothelioma diagnosis can be overwhelming, but it’s incredibly important to stay hopeful during this difficult time.
The first step in fighting this disease is to find a trusted mesothelioma doctor. Fortunately, there are many experienced mesothelioma specialists nationwide who are available to help patients like you.
These top mesothelioma doctors have the experience and resources to improve your or a loved one’s quality of life.
We can help you find a local specialist — try our Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match today.
FAQs About Mesothelioma Doctors
Why should I see a mesothelioma specialist?
Mesothelioma experts often have decades of experience in treating this cancer, and they can tailor treatment to your specific diagnosis.
Since mesothelioma is a very rare and aggressive disease, working with a specialist will ensure you receive the best care possible.
How does a doctor diagnose mesothelioma?
The first step in diagnosing mesothelioma is conducting imaging scans such as X-rays, CT (computer tomography) scans, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, or PET (positron emission tomography) scans to find initial signs of cancer.
If the doctor finds any signs of mesothelioma, they will then conduct a biopsy to collect tissue or fluid samples from the affected area and examine them for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis.
A mesothelioma doctor is your key to getting an accurate diagnosis and starting treatment promptly.
Should I get a second opinion from a mesothelioma doctor?
You should get a second opinion if you believe you have been misdiagnosed or want another expert opinion on your diagnosis.
How do I find a mesothelioma doctor near me?
There are many mesothelioma specialists and cancer centers across the nation. Use our Free Doctor Match to find a mesothelioma specialist near you.