Mesothelioma Checklist: 8 Things You Should Know

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Mesothelioma Checklist: 8 Things You Should Know

Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest cancers in the world. It is rare and incurable. Around 3000 people are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma each year in the United States. It grows silently in the mesothelial lining of your lungs, abdomen, or heart for decades before showing symptoms. By then, cancer has metastasized. The patient has anywhere between 4-18 months left to live at this stage.

A sudden diagnosis of a life-threatening disease can overwhelm you. Knowing what to do next can work wonders to regain your focus. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with mesothelioma, listed below are a few things you should know.

Knowledge is power

The more you know about the disease and the treatment, the better. Of course, your doctor knows better and can provide you with all the necessary information. But it doesn’t hurt to do a little research on your own. Learn about mesothelioma facts and figures, stages, types, and prognoses by reading credible online information. Many organizations, such as mesotheliomahope.com, provide information and support (emotional and financial) to patients and their families. You’ll be able to improve your quality of life with better help.

Asbestos exposure is the leading cause

Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibers. The fibers settle in the mesothelial lining of the lungs and stomach and scar the tissues for decades before manifesting as a full-blown disease.

Until the 1980s, asbestos was extensively used in construction materials because of its durability and fire-resistant properties. So people living in older homes have a high risk of developing this condition. Also, US army veterans, particularly those who served in the Navy in the 20th century, are more likely to develop mesothelioma because the ships were constructed entirely of asbestos.

Not all doctors are specialized to treat this

One reason for misdiagnosis is that not all oncologists are experts in treating mesothelioma. Hence, find a specialist who is aware of the intricacies of the disease and visit them regularly. Such specialists may be expensive. You may even have to travel far to see them. Don’t let these troubles stop you from seeking help from the best in the industry. Track down the organizations that finance mesothelioma treatments to people who can’t afford it. You may even have to contact a lawyer.

Survival rates are low, but it is not a death sentence

Survival rates of mesothelioma patients are grim. In the United States, around 55% of patients survive one year after diagnosis. The estimated survival rate drops to 9% after five years.

However, these are just statistics. Your prognosis depends on various other factors, including mesothelioma type and stage. Your condition may be milder than others, or you may respond to treatments better. We suggest being hopeful before you talk to your doctor.

Become a part of clinical trails

Mesothelioma is incurable. There is still extensive research going on to understand and control the spread of the disease. Many medications and therapeutic techniques are in clinical trials. Being a part of clinical trials may help you find the treatment that suits you. Someday, maybe they will find a cure through one of these clinical trials.

The symptoms are not disease-specific

Unlike other diseases, mesothelioma does not have a specific set of symptoms. The symptoms are mild and can be confused with other less harmful conditions. That’s why it is difficult to diagnose the disease in its early stages.

The symptoms depend on the type of mesothelioma that develops over time. For example, if it affects the lungs, the symptoms include cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. In contrast, peritoneal mesothelioma causes stomach ache, nausea, and constipation.

If you work in an environment where you are at risk of asbestos exposure, consult a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned earlier. Remember, early diagnosis can increase your life expectancy.

A good diet can do wonders

A healthy diet can help you respond to your treatments better. Cancer treatment can be exhausting and unpleasant to go through. And it takes a toll on your body. However, certain foods can boost your immune system and help with nausea and weakness. Keep your mineral and vitamin levels up. Consult a dietician and make a food chart. A nutritious diet doesn’t cure cancer, but it can replenish your body and prepare it to fight a long battle.

Know your legal rights

Even with your health insurance, mesothelioma treatment can put a significant financial burden on your shoulders. For this purpose, many attorneys specialize in mesothelioma cases. You are entitled to monetary compensation from companies that invest in asbestos-based products and show negligence toward the consequences of prolonged exposure and employee safety. If at any point you were exposed to an environment containing asbestos and later diagnosed with mesothelioma, they should be held accountable. Discuss your legal rights with an attorney with experience in asbestos-related cases.

Conclusion

Battling mesothelioma is tough. With a poor prognosis and low survival rate, you often lose all hope before reaching the end of the line. Still, many people survive beyond expected numbers. Finding a support group can help you stay positive and connected to the world. Studies show that good mental health is essential for a better response to cancer treatments. Also, extensive research on mesothelioma may discover the cure sooner rather than later. Hang tight! There might be a cure just around the corner.

Stacey Chillemi

staceychillemi@staceychillemi.com

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. Our staff will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body, and how to take control of your family’s health, using natural remedies as medicine.

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