Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Quick Summary

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas, can treat U.S. veterans facing the two main types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. We can help U.S. veterans with mesothelioma apply for VA health care so they can get cancer treatments from this hospital at little to no cost.

Address
2002 Holcombe Blvd
Houston, TX 77030

Pleural Mesothelioma Specialist
Dr. Lorraine Cornwell

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Specialist
Dr. Eugene Choi

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About the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Brown building with "Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center" across the front

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas, is one of the top military hospitals treating veterans with malignant mesothelioma. This is an aggressive cancer that many veterans are at risk of due to military asbestos exposure.

This 118-acre hospital is one of the VA’s largest. Veterans receiving health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can get treated here.

Its staff works closely with nearby Baylor College of Medicine, which is a leading mesothelioma cancer center for civilians, ensuring the highest quality care is being delivered.

Notably, DeBakey VA hospital has specialists on staff who can treat two of the most common types of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma types treated by this hospital include:

  • Pleural mesothelioma: The most common type of this cancer, which forms in the lining of the lungs (pleura).
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma: The second most common type, which develops in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum).

If you or a loved one is a U.S. veteran with mesothelioma, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center may be able to offer treatment options that can help you live longer.

We can help you connect with the best hospitals and doctors following a mesothelioma diagnosis. Use our Doctor Match today.

Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match for Veterans
  • Find top mesothelioma doctors near you
  • File for VA health care to cover costs
  • Get advice on the best treatments

Find Your Doctor

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Mesothelioma Treatments

Oncologists (cancer doctors) at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center provide many types of mesothelioma treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Learn more about these treatments below.

Mesothelioma Surgery

Mesothelioma surgery involves removing cancerous tissue from different parts of the mesothelium (internal lining of the body).

Doctors at DeBakey VA can perform the three main mesothelioma surgeries used to help veterans and civilians live longer.

These surgeries are:

  • Cytoreduction with HIPEC: This is used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma by removing cancer tumors from the abdominal lining and then bathing the surgery site in heated chemotherapy.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): This pleural mesothelioma surgery removes cancer tumors, the lung lining, and the lung closest to the cancer.
  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D): This surgery is also used to treat pleural mesothelioma. Doctors remove as much cancerous tissue as possible while sparing both lungs.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for mesothelioma uses anti-cancer drugs to break up tumors.

Doctors at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center can use chemotherapy by itself or with other treatments to help patients live longer or ease symptoms.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy uses beams of intense energy to kill cancer cells. It’s typically used along with surgery and chemotherapy for best results.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy boosts the immune system’s response to mesothelioma (as cancer cells can sometimes avoid being destroyed by the immune system).

Palliative Care

The DeBakey VA team offers palliative care, which is geared toward easing a mesothelioma patient’s pain and other symptoms.

Palliative care may be the main type of treatment a patient receives, or it could supplement other cancer care options used to help them live longer.

Mesothelioma Doctors at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Several top mesothelioma doctors work at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center to treat veterans with this cancer.

Notable doctors include:

  • Dr. Lorraine Cornwell: Dr. Cornwell is a thoracic surgeon who treats pleural mesothelioma cases by using minimally invasive surgery techniques.
  • Dr. Eugene Choi: Dr. Choi is a gastrointestinal surgeon who treats veterans suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma.

In addition to these two surgeons, numerous other experienced doctors oversee different treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. These doctors all work together so patients get expert care at every step of their cancer journey.

The mesothelioma doctors at DeBakey VA have decades of experience treating patients. Further, they work closely with the mesothelioma specialists at nearby Baylor College of Medicine, including Dr. Taylor Ripley.

Dr. Ripley is one of the best mesothelioma doctors in the country and leads Baylor’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center.

This means that veterans are in the best hands possible when getting treated at DeBakey VA.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you find top doctors like those at DeBakey VA to treat your cancer, whether you’re a civilian or U.S. veteran. Use our Doctor Match to get started.

Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match for Veterans
  • Find top mesothelioma doctors near you
  • File for VA health care to cover costs
  • Get advice on the best treatments

Find Your Doctor

Benefits of Mesothelioma Care at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center provides excellent care to veterans with mesothelioma. Learn about the benefits of getting care from this mesothelioma treatment center below.

Comprehensive & Specialized Treatment

The medical team at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center will tailor treatment regimens based on your needs and goals.

“If you’re diagnosed with cancer, our team will work with you, your primary care doctor, and other health care providers to develop a specialized treatment plan.”

— Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center website

Doctors can assess your case and determine the treatment(s) that will be best for you. Many patients receive multimodal therapy (which is when several treatments are used together for best results).

Treatment of Both Pleural & Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center’s mesothelioma program is unique because it can treat both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Most other VA and civilian hospitals only offer treatments for one specific type.

For example, the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System only treat pleural mesothelioma.

Partnership With Baylor College of Medicine

Michael E. Bakey VA Medical Center and its mesothelioma doctors are closely affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine — which is a world-class cancer hospital in and of itself. In fact, the DeBakey VA and Baylor have been partnered since 1949.

Because of this, U.S. veterans and their family members can be confident in the level of care offered by this hospital.

“Research conducted by Baylor faculty at [DeBakey VA], including programs shared between the two institutions like the Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence, ensure veterans access to cutting-edge health care.”

— Baylor College of Medicine official site

Free or Low-Cost Medical Services

The VA considers mesothelioma to be a 100% disabling condition. Mesothelioma veterans with VA health care can get treatment from DeBakey VA and other military hospitals at little to no cost.

This is a crucial benefit as it helps military veterans with mesothelioma avoid stressful medical expenses on top of having cancer.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can help you file for VA benefits or increase your existing benefits to 100% for free. Get started right now.

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Help for Veterans With Mesothelioma at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is one of the most notable military hospitals treating veterans with mesothelioma today.

By getting care here, veterans facing either pleural mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma may be able to live longer.

Further, veterans with mesothelioma are able to get treated at DeBakey VA without worrying about paying for their care, since VA health care coverage often covers most of the costs.

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is here to help veterans with this cancer get the best medical care possible. We can connect you to top mesothelioma hospitals and doctors, like those at DeBakey VA, as well as other key resources like VA benefits and financial assistance, right now.

Call (877) 450-8973 or get a Free Veterans Packet to learn more.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. Baylor College of Medicine (n.d.). Eugene Choi, M.D. Retrieved January 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/people-search/eugene-choi-19544.
  2. Baylor College of Medicine (n.d.). Lorraine D. Cornwell, M.D., FACS. Retrieved January 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/people-search/lorraine-cornwell-19834.
  3. Baylor College of Medicine (n.d.). Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Retrieved January 16, 2024, from https://www.bcm.edu/about-us/affiliates/va-medical-center.
  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2024, January 2). Michael E. DeBakey Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://www.va.gov/houston-health-care/locations/michael-e-debakey-department-of-veterans-affairs-medical-center/.
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2023, November 14). About us. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://www.va.gov/houston-health-care/about-us/.