A mesothelioma diagnosis strikes pretty quickly and unexpectedly, and is often overwhelming. As a patient, struggling to understand a disease that you are not familiar with is hard. Trying to figure out how to it will affect your health, quality of life, and whether it’s curable or not is even harder.
If you or your loved one has been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will be happy to know that there are various important steps that you can take to help you navigate the rough road of having asbestos cancer. Learning about how to proceed after diagnosis will help you gain some sense of control and become better informed on what to expect.
Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma of all types in the United States every year.
These steps may vary as mesothelioma cases tend to differ for different patients.
Confirm the Diagnosis
Mesothelioma is one rare form of cancer that has not yet been fully understood even after years of research. Given its rarity, it’s highly advisable to seek a second opinion or rather book a consultation with a mesothelioma specialist to confirm the diagnosis. Furthermore, just like with any other serious diagnosis, confirmation is always highly recommended.
The best specialist will examine you further to confirm whether the diagnosis is correct or not. He/she might even clarify various factors that may be vital during treatment. Remember that due to the rarity of the disease, a majority of doctors/specialists in cancer care centers do not have the experience or expertise in the latest advanced treatment options available. You can choose a specialist from one of the approved centers that only specialize in mesothelioma. (How to find the best mesothelioma doctors?).
Learn More About Mesothelioma
Of course, the only details you have about the disease is that its caused by prolonged asbestos exposure, is very dangerous, and can spread fast if left untreated. Well, what next? Step number two is taking the time to learn more about mesothelioma.
You will have many questions but a thorough research will have your mind at ease as you continue learning about its overall effect on your life and possible effective treatment options.
Get to learn about the causes of the disease. Try to learn about its symptoms, how they can affect your life quality, and different ways to alleviate them. Since there are different types of mesothelioma, familiarize yourself with each one of them and most importantly, learn more about the type you’ve have been recently diagnosed with. Also, take it upon yourself to learn about the prognosis of the disease. This information will be particularly helpful especially when it comes to exploring different treatment options that will prolong and improve the quality of your life, and also making your end-of-life plans.
Explore the Range of Treatment Options Available
There are various treatment options available for mesothelioma patients. Your doctor will choose the right one or the best combination for you. If caught in its early stage, chances of recovery are high as long as treatment is started immediately. If caught too late when the cancer has even spread to other body parts, certain treatment options such as palliative treatment, immunotherapy, and even clinical trials can help extend your life expectancy, alleviate symptoms resulting from the disease and aggressive treatment methods, and also improve your quality of life.
Common treatment options available for mesothelioma patients include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Alternative treatment options such as yoga, meditation, spirituality, change of diet, herbal medicines including others have also been found to be very helpful in managing the disease and restoring health.
While traditional treatments and therapies can be a powerful way to battle mesothelioma, having a clear mind and positive outlook can help the treatment process. One of the biggest obstacles when dealing with a dangerous diseases is high stress levels.
Identify Your Sources of Financial Compensation and other Resources for Assistance
Knowing the sources of financial compensation you are entitled to is important as this can greatly alleviate your financial burden. Treating mesothelioma comes with a lot of medical expenses, not to mention lost wages/income and the mental and physical distress caused by the disease. The best mesothelioma lawyer will help you file a mesothelioma lawsuit, take you through the extensive legal process, and ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve from the responsible party. (How to find the best mesothelioma lawyer?)
Also, you should learn about other valuable resources for assistance which are available for mesothelioma patients. These resources include complementary housing, travel grants, free airfare, and even free treatment.
For many families that are coping with a mesothelioma diagnosis, the related expenses can be overwhelming. You should know that financial and legal help are available.
Establish a Support Network
During the course of treatment, having people around you who can offer both emotional and physical support is important. There are various support networks available countrywide that can help you get through during these trying times. In the cancer care center, the team of doctors, hospice specialists, spiritual leaders and palliative specialists can all offer great emotional and physical support. They will lend a listening ear to voice all your concerns and fears about your mesothelioma diagnosis and possible death.
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