VA Hospitals for Veterans With Mesothelioma

Quick Summary

Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma can access specialized, affordable treatment through the VA hospital system. Under the direction of highly experienced specialists, mesothelioma programs at VA hospitals can improve the life expectancy and comfort of veterans with mesothelioma.

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Mesothelioma Treatment at VA Hospitals

It’s estimated that veterans account for up to one-third of all patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers excellent options for specialized treatment several of its hospitals. These health care facilities employ some of the world’s top mesothelioma specialists.

Since mesothelioma is such a rare condition, most general doctors and hospitals do not have experience diagnosing and treating it. Thankfully, VA hospitals treat mesothelioma patients on a regular basis, ensuring veterans get the best health care possible.

For qualified veterans, treatment at these centers may be free or require a very low copayment. The service is intended to make quality treatment affordable for those that served our country.

What Are VA Hospitals?

VA hospitals are provided by the VA, a federal agency that administers a variety of benefits and health care services to eligible veterans.

There are over 1,250 hospitals in the VA healthcare system, including 172 medical centers and 1,069 outpatient clinics. Veterans enrolled in the VA’s health care system can receive care at any facility.

VA hospitals treat about 9 million veterans every year.

Some VA hospitals offer specialized care for specific conditions while others are only equipped to treat common health problems.

VA hospitals provide the same quality of care as civilian hospitals, if not better.

Veterans may be able to seek treatment from these hospitals provided they are enrolled in VA Health Care. VA Health Care is one of the many benefits available to veterans facing mesothelioma.

Our team can help you file for VA Health Care and other benefits right now.

What Services Do VA Hospitals Offer?

At VA hospitals, veterans can access treatment for certain illness and injuries as well as preventive care and treatment aimed at improving quality of life.

For the most part, veterans must be enrolled in the VA hospital system to use these services. However, some mental health services are available to veterans not in the system.

VA hospitals provide a wide array of services, including:

  • Emergency services
  • Oncology
  • Surgery
  • Radiology
  • Acute care
  • Mental health services
  • Exams and screenings
  • Immunizations

Some VA hospitals serve as research centers and teaching facilities. This allows veterans to receive treatment from experienced specialists and medical students and gain access to the latest treatment technology.

Veterans can also participate in promising clinical trials to receive treatments not available otherwise.

Many clinical trials are available through a partnership program between the VA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The program gives veterans access to new cancer treatments such as precision medicine and immunotherapies.

List of Mesothelioma VA Hospitals

While there are many skilled facilities in the VA health care system, only a few are equipped to adequately treat mesothelioma. These hospitals offer advanced mesothelioma treatment programs run by world-renowned specialists.

Fortunately, veterans with VA health care don’t have to pay more to see specialists at these locations than they would at their local VA hospital.

Below are the locations where veterans can receive mesothelioma treatment at VA hospitals.

West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center treats veterans who have pleural mesothelioma from all over the country. The center is notable for their advanced lung-sparing surgery techniques and use of immunotherapy. This hospital also has unique expertise in treating sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

Dr. Robert Cameron, the center’s chief thoracic surgeon, is a leading expert in mesothelioma surgery. He has performed hundreds of operations on mesothelioma patients to date.

Visit the UCLA Health website to learn more about Dr. Robert Cameron.

Disclaimer

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Robert B. Cameron. The contact information above is listed for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Cameron directly.

Since mesothelioma does not have a cure, the medical team at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center treats mesothelioma as a chronic condition.

They avoid using aggressive treatments that can hurt the patient’s quality of life, and instead apply therapies to slow and manage cancer growth. The team aims to keep its patients comfortable while helping them live as long as possible.

VA Boston Healthcare System

The VA Boston Healthcare System runs several facilities in the Greater Boston area, including campuses and major medical centers. At their West Roxbury Campus, the Boston VA houses a special surgical division to treat veterans with mesothelioma.

Surgeons at the West Roxbury Campus perform about 300 operations every year.

The VA Boston Healthcare System offers a specialized mesothelioma program directed by Dr. Avi Lebenthal. A veteran himself, Dr. Lebenthal specializes in minimally invasive mesothelioma surgery.

He aims to keep recovery times short so that his patients can enjoy a higher quality of life after surgery.

Patients have several treatment options available at this facility, including lung-sparing surgery and palliative care to manage symptoms.

Michael E. DeBakey at Houston VA

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston also provides comprehensive medical care to veterans. The center has a large residency program which brings in talented and highly educated individuals from all over the country.

There are close to 4,000 skilled professionals providing quality care at the Houston VA Center.

This cancer center does not have a mesothelioma program of its own. Instead, it is closely associated with the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine.

One of the most renowned mesothelioma specialists, the late Dr. David Sugarbaker, helped found the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor.

Its mesothelioma treatment program typically starts with surgery to remove any tumors. After this, doctors will use chemotherapy, radiation or immunotherapy to target the remaining cancer cells. The center also provides family-oriented support throughout treatment.

Enrolling in Veterans Health Care

May be able to seek care from a VA hospital if you were diagnosed with mesothelioma after serving in the military.

To receive mesothelioma treatment at VA hospitals, veterans must be enrolled in the VA healthcare system. File for VA health care benefits and more right now with help from our team.

Working with our VA-accredited attorneys, veterans, and patient advocates can help your claim get filed quickly so that you can start treatment as soon as possible.

Veterans who are enrolled can seek treatment at any VA hospital and visit any of the mesothelioma specialists in the system. Don’t wait — mesothelioma is highly aggressive. Learn if you can get treatment at a VA hospital right now.

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.

View Sources

“VA Boston Healthcare System” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.boston.va.gov/services/surgical/Asbestos_and_Mesothelioma.asp. Accessed on March 23, 2019.

“Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.houston.va.gov/about/index.asp. Accessed on March 23, 2019.

“Mesothelioma Treatment Center” Baylor College of Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/mesothelioma-treatment-center. Accessed on March 23, 2019.

“VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.losangeles.va.gov/services/Mesothelioma.asp. Accessed on March 23, 2019.

“VA Health Care” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.va.gov/health-care/. Accessed on March 23, 2018.

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