Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of the internal organs (mesothelium). This cancer most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura), but it can also affect tissue in the abdomen and around the heart. When diagnosed at an early stage, mesothelioma can possibly be cured by surgical removal. But when this is not possible, surgery can instead help to reduce the signs and symptoms caused by the disease.

The Allegheny Health Network Esophageal Institute is one of only a few medical centers in the country performing a breakthrough mesothelioma therapy known as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC). The procedure involves surgically removing all visible signs of cancer before heated chemotherapy drugs are introduced directly into the chest cavity.

Tests and diagnosis

  • Imaging tests: Physicians use a combination of x-ray, MRI, PET, a