The West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center is part of the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System. Although located in southern California, the West LA VA Medical Center treats United States military veterans from across America. The WLA VA center has one of the best malignant mesothelioma treatment programs anywhere in the nation. That includes other VA centers and many private mesothelioma treatment facilities.
About the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center
The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) administers the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center (WLAVAMC). It’s one of the largest segments in the Department of Veterans Affairs. The West LA VA Medical Center is also a component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network intended to serve all U.S. military veterans in southern California and southern Nevada. There are 1.4 million veterans in this region alone
Since 1998, the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center has affiliated with the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at UCLA. The center also works with medical schools at UCLA and USA. Combined, the West LA VA Medical Center has some of the highest-qualified mesothelioma physicians and researchers in the world. Truly, veterans attending the center among those receiving the best mesothelioma care possible
The West LA VA center isn’t just for veterans living in the south-west. Because the mesothelioma program is so advanced and comprehensive at West Los Angeles, every United States military veteran suffering from malignant mesothelioma has an option to attend the facility for mesothelioma treatment. That includes eligible service people who served in the air force, army, marines, navy and coast guard. In some cases, National Guard and certain civilian agency veterans may also be qualified.
This leading VA medical center has a staff of health care practitioners who are researchers as well as physicians and surgeons. The West Los Angeles VA facility is a center of excellence where medical personnel specializes in mesothelioma treatment. Some are the most experienced pioneers in mesothelioma advancements. One of these is a world-renown surgeon, Dr. Robert Cameron.
West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Location & Overview
The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center is located within the overall VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare facility. The entire structure consists of two ambulatory care hospitals, an extended care unit, a tertiary care facility and 8 individual outreach clinics that are community bases.
The center primarily serves the counties of:
- Los Angeles
- Santa Barbara
- San Luis Obispo
The West LA center is a joint teaching, researching, and treatment facility. Besides affiliation with UCLA and USC medical schools, the West LA VA center works with 45 other colleges, vocational schools, and accredited universities.
The main West Los Angeles VA Medical Center’s address and contact information are:
The West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center
c/o VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare Center
Building 500, Room 4237, Mail Code 111-H
11301 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90073
Dr. Robert Cameron’s Mesothelioma Program at West LA VA Medical Center
Dr. Robert Cameron is the head of UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program. He’s not just a mesothelioma specialist. Dr. Cameron is one of the most widely-respected mesothelioma experts in the world. His success rate for improving patient survival times is virtually unmatched.
Every U.S. military veteran suffering from mesothelioma may be treated by Dr. Cameron at the West Los Angeles center. Many veterans from across the country choose Dr. Cameron as their mesothelioma specialist.
Benefits of having Dr. Cameron as your mesothelioma doctor include:
- His decades of experience treating pleural mesothelioma cases
- His developing the revolutionary pleurectomy with decortication surgery technique that extends life
- His leadership in clinical trials and advanced mesothelioma research
The West Los Angeles VA Medical Center also hosts the Elmo Zumwalt (EZ) Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program. It, too, involves Dr. Robert Cameron. The program was named after U.S. Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt who passed away from mesothelioma in 2000. Today, Zumwalt’s legacy survives as the figurehead of one of America’s top mesothelioma treatment centers.
Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at West Los Angeles VA
The West Los Angeles VA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program (CMP), as well as the EZ Program, is focused on minimally invasive, lung-sparing treatment methods. Other specialty therapies are aimed at improving patient comfort, longevity and quality of life. While there’s no current cure for pleural mesothelioma, both programs have proven remarkably effective in achieving these noble goals.
The CMP focuses on treating mesothelioma in a holistic way. That takes in a number of promising procedures. Some patients receive only one treatment form while others experience a combination of some or all treatment methods—multimodal therapy.
The main West LA center’s mesothelioma treatments involve:
- Surgical Interventions: Removing an entire lung infected with mesothelioma tumors is drastic and problematic. The West LA center attempts to use lung-sparing surgical interventions known as pleurectomy and decortication that only takes out the cancerous tissues and lung lining. Doctors then rely on other treatment procedures to control mesothelioma cells from spreading.
- Chemotherapy: Chemicals and cancer-killing drugs can be used alone or as part of a surgical and radiation program. This is far less invasive if used with radiation treatment. Chemotherapy often replaces surgery in late-stage mesothelioma cases where surgery is not available.
- Radiation: Radio surgery, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) are essentials in the WLA center’s mesothelioma program. These leading advancements minimize adjacent tissue damage and attack localized mesothelioma cells.
- Unique Therapies and Techniques: The West LA VA staff implements unique procedures such as targeted biologic therapy and immunotherapy. These new methods involve using genetic information and DNA profiles to isolate treatments best suited to an individual.
The combined efforts of the entire medical team at West Los Angeles VA Health Center constantly improves the life and survival time for American veterans suffering with mesothelioma. Surgery is just one option available to veterans. Many personalized treatment programs involve veterans with in-house clinical trials where breakthroughs in mesothelioma treatment occur.
Mesothelioma treatment at the West Los Angeles center is open to all U.S. military veterans regardless of their residency. It’s incumbent, though, those veterans were honorably discharged from service. Without exception, dishonorably discharged veterans are not eligible for enrollment at the West LA facility just as they’re not eligible for other VA benefits.
Becoming a West Los Angeles VA Health Center Patient
Admission to the West Los Angeles VA Health Center for mesothelioma treatment usually depends on the severity of the disease progression and prognosis for survival. As with all forms of cancer, mesothelioma survival rates greatly extend when the disease is diagnosed in an early stage. Enrollment also depends on a referral from an existing diagnosis in a facility not suitably equipped for treating mesothelioma.
One of the excellent advantages to the West Los Angeles VA Health Center is that veterans don’t have to be from the surrounding local area. Applications come in from across America.
They follow a simple but required protocol that includes submitting this information:
- Active Duty Discharge Certificate
- Employment data
- Basic information on family dependents
- Previous year’s financial documentation.
Applications to the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center can be completed online or submitted by mail. For more information about undergoing mesothelioma treatment for veterans, contact our Patient Advocates today.