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Mesothelioma – Coping and Preparation

The treatment of mesothelioma has been researched over the years to attempt to determine which treatment method yields the best results and most hopeful prognosis. There have been a variety of clinical trials that have shown some hopeful results.

Treatment

Right now, treatment options normally include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Other forms of treatment are immunotherapy and targeted therapy. When a mesothelioma patient undergoes surgery, there are a variety of surgical procedures that may be done. For instance, surgery may be performed to remove the lung and tissue around the lung, to remove just the tissue around the lungs, to decrease the buildup of fluid, or to remove as much of the cancer as possible (used for peritoneal mesothelioma).

When it comes to immunotherapy, this is a type of treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer and may be implemented when other treatments are failing to produce positive results.

Targeted therapy is when drugs are used that attack certain vulnerabilities in cancer cells.

Mesothelioma patients may opt in for a clinical trial to try treatment options that are in more of the development and research stage, without guaranteed results.

Alternative Treatments

As of now, there are not any alternative medicines that have shown promise in treating mesothelioma, however there are some alternative treatments that can be used for those that experience breathlessness, to ease symptoms. Sitting close to a fan is an option because it may make it feel like it is easier to breathe. Breath training is another option that can be taught by a physical therapist or a nurse. Some patients may utilize acupuncture, which is when thin needles are inserted at specific points into the skin. Relaxation exercises include slowly tensing then relaxing different groups of muscles in order for the patient to feel more at ease.

Coping with Mesothelioma

Coping with mesothelioma is understandably extremely difficult as it takes a toll on the patient’s physical, mental and emotional health and affects friends and family members as well. It can be useful for mesothelioma patients to join support groups and to be around other people who have a cancer diagnosis. It may make them feel less alone and isolated. It is also important to have a close-knit support network of family and friends that can take you to appointments and help plan. Another useful tip would be to learn more about the disease you have been diagnosed with in order to truly understand it. Many people do not know a lot about mesothelioma as it is such a rare form of cancer.

Preparing For Your Appointment

If your primary care doctor thinks that you may have mesothelioma, they will probably refer you to a specialist to get tests done. It can be helpful to prepare for this appointment as best as you can. For instance, you may want to jot down the symptoms that you are experiencing so the doctor can better understand what you are going through. You may want to take someone from your support system with you to the appointment. You may want to write down any medications you are on, and you should be aware of any restrictions that take place before the appointment, such as not eating for certain tests.

Questions

If you do see a specialist regarding mesothelioma symptoms, they may ask you a variety of questions. Some of these questions may be asking if you worked with asbestos, how intense your symptoms are, if it hurts when you breathe, what makes your symptoms worse, etc. You may want to think about the answer to these questions and similar questions prior to the appointment.

In general, it is important that victims of mesothelioma have a strong support system and that they figure out what type of support is best for them.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact the Halpern Law Firm at (800) 505-6000 for legal help and information. We have over 30 years of experience helping victims of mesothelioma in Pennsylvania get the compensation they deserve.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20375028

Written By Sadie Gold

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