Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer that occurs on the thin layer of tissue that covers most of the organs in the human body. This layer of tissue is also known as the mesothelium.
Mesothelioma can sometimes be treated through surgery and chemotherapy afterward but in the majority of cases, it is fatal. After getting your diagnosis, it is important that you find the best possible medical care and explore all options available to you.
Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma can be frightening and overwhelming. At the time, your mental health might not hold priority for you, but you must take care of your mind as well as your body during these trying times.
Medical Care Options
Getting your mesothelioma diagnosis can be very frightening and upsetting. It might shake you up, but it is vital to gather yourself and not give up hope. Getting second, third, fourth opinions or more if needed should be your first step after getting a diagnosis.
Choose the best possible doctor, one who specializes in the field or has the highest success rate for mesothelioma patients. Explore all the options thoroughly that your doctor puts in front of you and ask them as many questions as you want. You should search for and chat with an expert who will give you the right advice regarding medical care and other considerations to help you deal with your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Some possible treatment options for mesothelioma include:
This option works best for patients diagnosed in the initial stages of mesothelioma. The doctors might have to perform more than one surgery to get all cancer out, but it gives the patients a chance to live a healthy life. The patients are required to go through chemotherapy after surgery to prevent relapse.
Doctors recommend radiation therapy to patients for whom surgery is no longer an option or is too risky to perform. Radiation therapy shrinks the cancer cells in the body and acts as a measure to relieve pain and discomfort for the patient while also providing a chance at a longer life.
This therapy involves more than one cancer treatment at a time. Multimodal therapy is also referred to as ‘Bimodal therapy’ at times since it consists of two treatments and ‘Trimodal therapy’ if combining three methods of cancer treatment. Combining two or more cancer treatments helps attack cancer from different angles and approaches. This treatment is used for pleural and peritoneal types of mesotheliomas.
Immunotherapy for mesothelioma makes use of medications that aid the immune system of the body in recognizing cancer cells and attacking them. This prevents the growth of any new cancer cells in the body and keeps the body’s immune response from decreasing further.
There are also other treatments and therapies to fight mesothelioma. Your specialist doctor will guide you about them.
Mental Health After Diagnosis
Like any cancer diagnosis, a mesothelioma diagnosis can be terrifying for the patient. It can leave you shaken up and very quickly deteriorate your mental health.
The psychological distress mixed with the physical distress will exhaust you more than anything, hence, the patient must get proper psychological help after their diagnosis.
Mesothelioma patients often experience depression, anxiety, anger, and shock. There are ways to deal with these overwhelming emotions.
Starting clinical therapy sessions with a good psychologist is one of the best ways to deal with emotional distress after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Talking to an experienced professional will help you get things off your mind and get tips to help cope. Talking to a stranger like a psychologist might even help you more than talking to a family member because after hearing your diagnosis, your family members also suffer emotional distress.
If you live alone or do not have a family member, it will give you peace of mind to plan ahead of time for certain things. For example, arrange transport services since you might not be able to drive. You should also look into arranging a nurse for yourself or someone to take of you when you are in a weaker state.
Joining a support group for mesothelioma patients will connect you with people who are going through the same distress as you, people who would understand you and benefit you in knowing how they might be coping with it.
Legal and Financial Settlements
Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are at times entitled to legal and financial settlements. Some companies manufacture asbestos products, resulting in their employees being exposed to asbestos for long durations.
Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma if exposed for extended periods, hence if the employee develops mesothelioma, then they will be entitled to a large amount of financial settlement from the company that would cover their medical expenses as well as have enough left for their family to live comfortably.
Dealing with your mesothelioma diagnosis can be extremely difficult and tiring. You must have the best healthcare team at your service and strong emotional support. If you are entitled to a settlement from a company, then do not hesitate to file a case, as it will at least solve your financial problems during these trying times.