Mesothelioma Program At Sylvester Cancer Center Helps Asbestos Victims in Miami

For many years, mesothelioma victims in Florida have traveled more than 1,000 miles to Boston to get the best care possible for the disease. Now, a renowned surgeon is helping people receive medical assistance without having to leave their state.

Nestor Villamizar, a thoracic surgeon who previously worked at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, moved to Miami last year and joined the team of medical experts at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Brigham and Women’s Hospital is considered the most advanced and comprehensive medical center for mesothelioma patients in the nation, and instead of having Florida patients travel so far just to get the best care, Villamizar brought his own set of medical skills to the Sunshine State.

“When I was working at the Brigham, we kept seeing more and more mesothelioma patients coming for surgery from Florida, and it always kind of amazed me. It’s very difficult for a patient and a family to make the commitment to do that. It’s not easy. So it just made sense for me to come here. Those patients won’t have to travel so far anymore.”

Although the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center was already treating mesothelioma patients, Villamizar’s skills opened up new options, including  pleurectomy & decortication, an aggressive  surgical procedure for people with pleural mesothelioma. Villamizar joined an experienced medical team in Florida to bring patients the best care possible, including Dr. Adrian Ishkanian, who is responsible for post-surgery care and follow-up. According to Ishkanian, it’s the expertise of a full team that helps make mesothelioma treatment as solid as possible for Florida patients.

“To make it work, you need experts in all facets: A dedicated surgeon, a dedicated medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist all working closely together. You need nurses who really understand it. For something as rare and subspecialized as this [mesothelioma], you need a dedicated team treating it. We have that now.”

Meanwhile, many mesothelioma patients receiving care at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center are praising the treatment they’ve gotten, including a 59-year-old man who didn’t want to travel too far from home to undergo treatment.

“I don’t know much about hospitals in Boston or New York. I heard people say they are the best, but I found what I needed right here in Miami. God sent me to Dr. Villamizar and his team. I can’t imagine there is any place better.”

About Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Founded in 1992, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is a part of the University of Miami Health System. Over 4,000 cancer patients are treated each year, and more than 2,000 of those patients undergo comprehensive surgery. In addition to an exceptional mesothelioma program, the cancer center also performs numerous researches and trials in hopes to find better treatment, and eventually a cure for cancer.

In addition to pleural surgery, Sylvester also offers a new treatment known as  hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC). HIPEC helps treat those whose cancer has spread into the stomach area. It’s generally performed right after surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma and has shown to be extremely beneficial in reducing the amount of tumor cells in the abdominal area.

For more information on Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, contact the main line at 305-243-1000.

More Help and Resources for Mesothelioma Patients

If you suffer from an asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a top mesothelioma attorney in your area. If you need assistance or have any questions, contact us toll-free at 800-694-4856.

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