Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare tumor that involves the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. The major risk factor is exposure to asbestos, which has historically been used for its insulation properties. People who are most at risk generally have had long-term exposure to asbestos, for example, construction workers, pipe fitters, and shipyard workers. It takes many years for mesothelioma to develop; it can appear 30 years after asbestos exposure.
Symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath are subtle, and often people have no symptoms. As mesothelioma progresses, the disease restricts the lungs’ ability to expand, making breathing more difficult.
Under the direction of Andrea Wolf, MD, the New York Mesothelioma Program (NYMP) at Mount Sinai provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinical care for patients with suspected or diagnosed malignant pleural mesothelioma. Specialists from surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, oncogeneral medicine, nutrition, and social work meet with each patient in a single setting at the NYMP clinic. Additional specialists in palliative medicine and psychiatry are also available, if needed. Social workers with expertise in providing care and services for mesothelioma patients arrange consultation with patients’ caregivers, if desired. Mount Sinai’s Center of Excellence for Thoracic Oncology supports the clinical care and research activities of the NYMP.
Holistic Approach to Mesothelioma Care
Following evaluation, the multidisciplinary care team discusses personalized recommendations with each patient and their caregiver(s). Together, we formulate a customized treatment plan that often includes further testing and treatment that may combine surgery, medication, radiation, and/or surveillance. As a leading center for mesothelioma research, we also offer the latest clinical trials.
Mesothelioma Clinic: One-stop Shop for Evaluation and Follow-up
Mesothelioma patients undergo initial evaluation at the NYMP clinic. They also receive follow-up care and any needed imaging or diagnostic testing at the clinic. And they see all needed specialists on the same day. The one-stopshop approach ensures that patients receive coordinated services all in one place.