Dr Sugarbaker Mesothelioma: Understanding and Treating This Deadly Disease


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on one of the deadliest diseases of our time: mesothelioma. This cancer is caused by asbestos exposure and affects thousands of people every year. In this article, we’ll introduce you to Dr Sugarbaker, a world-renowned surgeon who has dedicated his life to treating mesothelioma patients. We’ll explore the disease, its symptoms, and its treatments, and we’ll give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your health.

At the end of this article, you’ll find a table with all the relevant information about Dr Sugarbaker and his work. We’ll also provide answers to frequently asked questions to help you better understand this disease and its treatment options.

Who Is Dr Sugarbaker?

Dr David Sugarbaker is a thoracic surgeon who has dedicated his career to treating mesothelioma patients. He is widely recognized as a leader in the field and has developed many of the surgical techniques used today to treat this disease.

After completing his medical degree at Cornell University, Dr Sugarbaker trained in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He then completed a thoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Toronto before returning to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he served as chief of thoracic surgery for over twenty years.

Dr Sugarbaker has authored over 400 scientific publications and has given countless lectures on mesothelioma and other thoracic surgeries. He has also trained many of the surgeons who are currently treating mesothelioma around the world.

The Basics of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that lines the lungs, chest wall, and abdomen. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a toxic mineral that was once commonly used in construction, insulation, and other industries. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, meaning that symptoms may not appear for 20-50 years after exposure to asbestos.

The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the type of mesothelioma and the stage of the disease. The most common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

The Three Types of Mesothelioma

There are three main types of mesothelioma, each affecting a different part of the body:

Type of Mesothelioma Location
Pleural Mesothelioma Lungs and chest wall
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Abdomen
Pericardial Mesothelioma Heart

Treatment Options for Mesothelioma

There are several treatment options for mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The best treatment option for you will depend on the type and stage of your mesothelioma as well as your overall health.

Dr Sugarbaker is known for his groundbreaking work in mesothelioma surgery. He has developed several techniques that allow for more extensive surgery and can improve outcomes for patients. These surgical techniques include:

  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy: removal of the affected lung, the lining of the chest wall, and the diaphragm
  • Pleurectomy/decortication: removal of the lining of the lungs and chest wall
  • Peritonectomy: removal of the lining of the abdomen

FAQs About Mesothelioma and Dr Sugarbaker

What is the survival rate for mesothelioma?

The survival rate for mesothelioma is low, with most patients surviving less than two years after diagnosis. However, with early detection and aggressive treatment, some patients have survived for several years.

How can I reduce my risk of mesothelioma?

The best way to reduce your risk of mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If you work in an industry where you may be exposed to asbestos, be sure to follow safety protocols and wear protective gear.

What are the side effects of mesothelioma treatment?

The side effects of mesothelioma treatment can vary depending on the type of treatment. Surgery may cause pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.

Can mesothelioma be cured?

There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but treatment can help improve quality of life and prolong survival.

What is a mesothelioma support group?

A mesothelioma support group is a group of people who have been affected by mesothelioma, either as patients, caregivers, or loved ones. Support groups can provide emotional support, practical advice, and a sense of community.

Where can I find a mesothelioma specialist?

You can find a mesothelioma specialist by contacting your local cancer center or by searching online for mesothelioma treatment centers.

What is the role of genetics in mesothelioma?

While genetics may play a role in mesothelioma, the primary cause of this disease is exposure to asbestos.

How does chemotherapy work for mesothelioma?

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. For mesothelioma, chemotherapy is usually given in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy.

What is the cost of mesothelioma treatment?

The cost of mesothelioma treatment can vary depending on the type and stage of the disease, as well as the treatment options chosen. However, treatment can be expensive, and many patients find themselves struggling with medical bills and other expenses.

How long does it take to recover from mesothelioma surgery?

The recovery time after mesothelioma surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery performed and the overall health of the patient. Some patients may need months to fully recover, while others may be able to return to normal activities within a few weeks.

What is the role of palliative care in mesothelioma treatment?

Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses, including mesothelioma. This type of care can help manage symptoms, alleviate pain, and provide emotional support for patients and their families.

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. This type of treatment is still being developed for mesothelioma and is not yet widely available.

How can I support mesothelioma research?

You can support mesothelioma research by donating to organizations that fund research into this disease, such as the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

What is the Mesothelioma Patient Registry?

The Mesothelioma Patient Registry is a database of information about mesothelioma patients and their treatments. This registry is used by researchers to study the disease and develop new treatments.


Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that affects thousands of people every year. However, with the help of dedicated doctors like Dr Sugarbaker and ongoing research, there is hope for better treatments and outcomes for mesothelioma patients.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of mesothelioma and the important work being done by Dr Sugarbaker and his colleagues in the field. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we encourage you to seek out the best possible care and support available.


The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any decisions about your health.