Five things the family needs to know after a mesothelioma diagnosis
Mesothelioma diagnosis of your loved one can be very traumatizing. You may find yourself denying the situation altogether, not accepting that something such as cancer can happen to one of your loved ones. To be in denial, grief, and immense pain are justified reactions. Still, you have to gather yourself and think about everything that must be done. The family of a mesothelioma victim must know how to improve the quality of life of their patient. Family members need to understand that they can give hope to their patients and help them live the remaining days without undue stress. Here is what you must find out once you discover your loved one’s mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Know more about the type of mesothelioma they have
Mesothelioma is cancer that usually happens due to asbestos exposure in the workplace. The patient may have been exposed to asbestos fibres some fifteen years ago, but the symptoms may have just started appearing. Misdiagnosis is often possible since it’s a rare type of cancer. For the same reason, most mesothelioma patients get diagnosed in the later stages of cancer. But once it surfaces, it develops pretty rapidly. Your patient may show the symptoms of one of three more prevailing types of mesothelioma. They include pleural mesothelioma that occurs in the outer linings of the lungs, peritoneum mesothelioma located at the outside of the abdomen, or pericardium mesothelioma, developing on the heart sac.
- Is mesothelioma treatment expensive?
Like all other types of cancer treatments, mesothelioma treatment is expensive. But one concession is that you can file a compensation claim against the companies responsible for your mesothelioma. Approach a mesothelioma firm with a law office in your state. These law firms provide legal advice and assistance to mesothelioma victims and their families. Lawyers in these firms are trained to successfully receive millions in settlement amounts for their victims. This money can help the families fulfil their medical expenditures and other financial commitments. In 2021, a firm received $8.26 Million in mesothelioma verdict for a mechanic diagnosed with mesothelioma.
- Get a second opinion from another oncologist
Though your patient has already been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there is no harm in going for a second opinion. Previously, you might have only consulted a physician or your family doctor. Now, you can consult an expert oncologist. These specialists understand the most intricate details of cancer, including the cell type. They may ask you for additional tests to see the development of mesothelioma in your patient’s body. These tests will reveal the situation and help decide the treatment.
Most doctors are often okay with the fact that their patients need a second opinion. In fact, some may even advise them to go for it, as it can make them confident about their doctor’s judgment and prone to following their advice in the future. Even the best mesothelioma experts work in teams of professionals and get each other’s advice when treating a patient. They help you with a second opinion realizing that mesothelioma is aggressive cancer, and any delay or misdiagnosis can be fatal.
- Know about the available mesothelioma treatment
Mesothelioma is non-curative cancer, but some treatments can improve your patient’s prognosis and quality of life. The common treatments advised for a mesothelioma patient include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In recent years some advanced treatments have also been developed. These treatments became possible due to the efforts of researchers and the conduction of clinical trials to ensure their safety and effectiveness for patients.
These emerging treatments include gene therapy, cryotherapy, Photodynamic Therapy, Virotherapy, etc. The treatment choice varies according to the type of mesothelioma your loved one has and the stage and development speed of the tumour. In the initial stages, more aggressive treatments such as surgery are prescribed by experts. But as cancer develops and engulfs organs and tissues, the treatment shift to those that can reduce the spread of the tumour, reduce pain, and improve prognosis.
- Discussing your mesothelioma with your children
If you are a mesothelioma victim, hiding the situation from kids and other family members is the wrong path to take. Remember, dealing with mesothelioma is a team effort, and you cannot deal with it alone. The truth will come out one day. So, it is not wise to keep it a secret.
Talking to your kids about your mesothelioma can be very difficult. If they are too young, they may not know what is happening with you or why you must visit the doctor so frequently. Nevertheless, it is essential to prepare your children for the unseen. You have to discuss your diagnosis, how much time you still have, and the next step. Ensure you have ample information about mesothelioma to answer all their questions correctly. Explain what the disease is doing to your body and what help you may need from them.
Be honest about the future and how they have to take care of each other. If you are okay with sharing with others outside the house, you may also discuss your situation with the teachers in school. Subsequently, you can get their help to prepare your kids for the future.
Mesothelioma is fatal cancer. As soon you hear about cancer, many questions start popping up in your mind. The same goes for your family members. They would want to know about the disease, its development, which stage of cancer you are, and the like. The guide above succinctly mentions what the family should know and do after they get to know your mesothelioma diagnosis so you can team up with them for your mesothelioma treatment. The more you are open with your family, the more they can help you get through this challenging phase of your life.