Providence Mesothelioma Doctors: Expert Care for a Rare Cancer :

Hello and welcome to our comprehensive guide to mesothelioma care in Providence, Rhode Island. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma, and unfortunately, it can take decades for symptoms to appear. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to seek out specialized care from experienced doctors.

Providence Mesothelioma Doctors Overview

Providence is home to some of the most experienced mesothelioma doctors in the country. These doctors have dedicated their careers to treating mesothelioma patients and have access to the latest diagnostic tools, treatments, and clinical trials. Here’s a look at some of the top mesothelioma doctors in Providence:

Doctor Specialty Education Hospital Affiliation
Dr. David Sugarbaker Thoracic Surgery Harvard University Brown University
Dr. Raphael Bueno Thoracic Surgery Harvard University Boston VA Healthcare System
Dr. Abraham Lebenthal Thoracic Surgery Indiana University Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island
Dr. Anthony Mega Medical Oncology Harvard University Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Dr. David Sugarbaker

Dr. David Sugarbaker is a renowned thoracic surgeon who has treated mesothelioma patients for over 30 years. He founded the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is now the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brown University. Dr. Sugarbaker is a pioneer in the field of mesothelioma surgery and has developed innovative techniques to improve patient outcomes.

At the Brown University Thoracic Oncology Program, Dr. Sugarbaker works alongside a multidisciplinary team to provide personalized treatment plans for every patient. This team includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and supportive care specialists. They use the latest diagnostic tools, such as PET-CT scans and molecular profiling, to accurately diagnose mesothelioma and create treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

Dr. Sugarbaker also oversees a robust research program that focuses on developing new therapies and improving existing treatments for mesothelioma. He has published over 300 scientific papers and is a recognized leader in the field.

Dr. Raphael Bueno

Dr. Raphael Bueno is the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Boston VA Healthcare System and an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He has extensive experience in treating mesothelioma and is known for his compassionate bedside manner.

Dr. Bueno’s approach to mesothelioma care is holistic and patient-centered. He works closely with his patients to understand their goals and concerns and creates treatment plans that prioritize their overall well-being. His team includes social workers, nutritionists, and other supportive care specialists who help patients manage the physical and emotional challenges of mesothelioma.

In addition to clinical care, Dr. Bueno is also a prolific researcher. He has authored over 320 scientific publications and leads several clinical trials aimed at developing new therapies for mesothelioma and other thoracic cancers.

Dr. Abraham Lebenthal

Dr. Abraham Lebenthal is a thoracic surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgery for mesothelioma. He completed his surgical training at Indiana University and has been practicing in Providence for over 20 years. At the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Dr. Lebenthal works with a team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other specialists to provide comprehensive mesothelioma care.

Dr. Lebenthal is particularly skilled in using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) to remove tumors and minimize damage to healthy tissue. This technique results in faster recovery times and fewer complications compared to traditional surgery. Dr. Lebenthal also uses advanced imaging technology, such as 3D CT scans and PET-CT scans, to accurately diagnose and stage mesothelioma.

Dr. Anthony Mega

Dr. Anthony Mega is a medical oncologist at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He has a special interest in immunotherapy and is involved in several clinical trials aimed at developing new therapies for mesothelioma.

Immunotherapy is a promising new approach to mesothelioma treatment that harnesses the power of the immune system to attack cancer cells. Dr. Mega’s team is studying drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, which block the signals that cancer cells use to evade the immune system. These drugs have shown great promise in treating other cancers and may be effective in treating mesothelioma as well.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options in Providence

Mesothelioma treatment in Providence typically involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. These treatments are often used in combination to attack mesothelioma from multiple angles and improve patient outcomes. Here’s a closer look at each type of treatment:


Mesothelioma surgery can remove as much of the cancer as possible and improve a patient’s quality of life. The type of surgery recommended will depend on the location and stage of the cancer. Common mesothelioma surgeries include:

  • Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D): This surgery removes the lining of the chest cavity, as well as any visible cancer. It’s often used for early-stage mesothelioma or as a palliative treatment to relieve symptoms.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): This surgery removes the entire lung, as well as the lining of the chest cavity and diaphragm. It’s a more extensive surgery that’s usually reserved for patients with early-stage disease and good overall health.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma surgery: This surgery removes tumors from the lining of the abdomen. It’s often combined with heated chemotherapy (HIPEC) to kill any remaining cancer cells.


Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. It’s often used in combination with surgery or radiation therapy to improve outcomes. The most common chemotherapy drugs used for mesothelioma include:

  • Cisplatin
  • Carboplatin
  • Alimta (pemetrexed)

Chemotherapy can cause side effects, such as nausea, hair loss, and fatigue, but these are usually manageable with medication and lifestyle changes.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. It’s often used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells or as a palliative treatment to relieve symptoms. Radiation therapy can cause side effects, such as skin irritation and fatigue, but these are usually temporary.

Providence Mesothelioma FAQs

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma symptoms can vary depending on the type of mesothelioma and the stage of the disease. Common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with a doctor immediately.

How is mesothelioma diagnosed?

Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed through a combination of imaging tests, such as X-rays and CT scans, and a biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of tissue for analysis. In some cases, a thoracoscopy or laparoscopy may be necessary to visualize the cancer more closely.

What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?

The prognosis for mesothelioma depends on several factors, including the location and stage of the cancer, the age and overall health of the patient, and the type of treatment received. Mesothelioma is often diagnosed at a late stage, which can make treatment more challenging. However, with early detection and aggressive treatment, some patients are able to achieve long-term survival.

Is there a cure for mesothelioma?

Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma. However, there are several treatment options available that can improve quality of life and extend survival. Researchers are actively studying new therapies, such as immunotherapy and gene therapy, that may offer hope for a cure in the future.

Can mesothelioma be prevented?

The most effective way to prevent mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was commonly used in construction materials until the 1970s, so it’s important to take precautions if you work in construction or renovation. If you live in an older home, have it tested for asbestos before doing any renovations. If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, speak with a doctor to determine if you are at risk for mesothelioma.


Providence is home to some of the most experienced and compassionate mesothelioma doctors in the country. These doctors have the knowledge, skills, and resources to provide patients with the best possible care and improve outcomes for this difficult disease. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, don’t hesitate to seek out specialized care and explore all available treatment options.

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