When someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma, they may be in shock. This disease is a type cancer and the prognosis is generally very poor. It often develops in those who have a history of working with asbestos and the symptoms may not become evident for 20 or 30 years after the exposure.
For many who are diagnosed with this disease, by the time they are experiencing symptoms, the disease has progressed to a point where the only treatment options are for controlling the pain and the symptoms. Most people who are diagnosed with this disease will only live another six months to two years after their diagnosis.
The first step following a diagnosis is to get a second opinion. This disease is very difficult to diagnose and it is very wise to seek the opinion of another doctor. Symptoms of this disease can appear to be caused by much more common illnesses, so it is important to have a diagnosis confirmed by a second physician.
Even in the face of such grim facts, it is important to be careful when choosing the doctor to provide follow-on care and treatment. This may be a very difficult time and it is important to choose the right doctor.
The first consideration is the doctor’s experience in diagnosing and treating this disease. This disease is still pretty rare, so it is really important to find a doctor who is knowledgeable in asbestos exposure and how to treat both the disease and the symptoms. Medical research is continually finding new treatments, so it is important that the doctor is up-to-date on the latest treatments, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The primary care physician may be able to provide a referral to a specialist. It is also possible to find doctors through organizations which focus on this disease. Every case of this disease will be different, so every treatment will be as well. There are no two cases alike when it comes to treating this particular form of cancer.
The patient and their family should meet with the doctor. It is a good idea to prepare some questions for the doctor about their qualifications and background. Meeting with the doctor will also give the patient and their family an idea of the doctor’s personality. It is very important that the patient is comfortable with the doctor.
There are three questions which are important to ask any doctor being considered for a patient with this cancer. First, how many cases of this type of cancer has the doctor treated? It is also important to ask the doctor about their training and any specialized education they may have concerning this disease. Does the doctor have any special certifications related to asbestos cancer?
The last, and perhaps the most important question is what types of mesothelioma treatment options does this doctor provide? Research is discovering new options for treating this cancer almost every day, so it is important that the doctor is aware of all new possible treatments or medications. The doctor should be willing to discuss any and all treatment options and even bring in other specialists if necessary to ensure all possibilities are considered.