Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that begins in the mesothelium – a thin, protective lining that covers the inside of your chest and abdomen and also lines the outer surface of many of your organs, such as your heart. It secretes a fluid that allows your organs to move against each other, such as the expansion and contraction of your lungs. The mesothelium that lines the chest, called the pleura, is the most common site for mesothelioma.
Unlike many other cancers, mesothelioma usually doesn’t grow as a single tumor. Initially, it grows within the lining and affects how well the lining works. It can cause symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain. Over time, the cancer can grow into nearby organs or spread to other parts of your body.
Mesotheliomas are grouped based on how the cancer cells look under a microscope:
- Epithelioid mesothelioma
- Sarcomatoid mesothelioma
- Mixed (biphasic) mesothelioma
Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?
One of only 71 NCI-designated cancer centers in the U.S. Sylvester is one of only two cancer centers in Florida recognized by the National Cancer Institute. We’re known for our outstanding work conducting research, treating patients, and offering innovative prevention strategies to medically underserved communities.
Robotic video-assisted surgery program ranked among top 10 in the Southeast. Our surgeons use robotic video-assisted technology to improve patient outcomes. This advanced surgical approach results in less blood loss in surgery, shorter hospital stays, and higher survival rates on average for appropriate patients.
Advanced radiation oncology tools. Sylvester offers leading-edge tools that target tumors with pinpoint accuracy, including ViewRay® MRI-guided radiation therapy – we’re one of only five medical centers in the U.S. to offer it – and RapidArc® intensity-modulated external radiation therapy (IMRT). These image-guided radiation tools provide more effective treatments, shorter treatment times, and less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.