Mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer, affecting approximately 3,000 people in the United States per year. It mostly forms in the lining of the lungs or the abdomen. There are different treatment options for those that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, surgery and more. The prognosis for those with mesothelioma is poor, however there is hope for a better overall survival rate due to advances in treatment.
People may live with mesothelioma for years after being treated and it is useful to know what to do for follow-up care. For a lot of people, even if they are still living, the cancer will never fully go away, so they may continue to be treated to keep the cancer from getting stronger.
Follow-up visits are very important for those who are living with mesothelioma and have completed their main treatment regimens. Doctors want to know about different symptoms the patient may be experiencing and may do certain imaging tests as well as ask for blood tests to determine if the cancer is spreading. It is important that patients tell their providers what symptoms they are experiencing as different treatments may have permanent symptoms.
The American Cancer Society talks about the importance of a survivorship care plan for those who continue to live with mesothelioma. This is something that can be created with the patient and their doctor and it may include things such as suggestions on diet and physical activity, reminders to make and keep appointments with the patient’s primary care provider who analyzes their overall health, a list of long-term side effects from treatment and when to contact a doctor if side effects occur, a schedule for follow-up exams and a schedule for tests that the patient may require in the future.
It is useful for mesothelioma patients to keep copies of their medical records in case their cancer comes back, or they have a different doctor down the line.
The importance of support from family members, friends and the community should not be understated, as this usually plays an important role in a patient’s overall outlook and state of mind. When dealing with a life-threatening cancer it is normal to feel anxious, stressed and depressed. A patient may want to join a support group or talk to a counselor for some extra support.
If the cancer comes back or spreads, there may be different treatment options available, depending on the extent of the cancer. One of the factors in determining treatment, besides staging, is whether the mesothelioma is resectable or not. Resectable means that all visible cancer can be removed by surgery.
Recurrent mesothelioma happens when the cancer comes back after treatment. This can be local, meaning that it happens in the same place that the cancer was located originally, or distant, meaning that the cancer has traveled to a different area of the body. If this happens, there are still treatment options for these instances. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be administered to relieve symptoms or to shrink the tumor or stop the spread of the cancer. An option that could be utilized for these situations would be a clinical trial in which new and advanced treatments are studied.
Overall, it is important to try to detect mesothelioma early, so the best possible treatment can be offered by a doctor. After treatment, it is essential to have follow-up care and to keep in contact with a doctor.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please call the Halpern Law Firm at (800) 505-6000 for legal help or for more information. With over 30 years of experience in these cases and over $100 won in verdicts and settlements, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Written By Sadie Gold
Now that you know the mesothelioma statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced attorney from our firm to represent your case before time runs out.
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Dave Halpern, Mesothelioma Attorney
Dave Halpern is a Pennsylvania and New Jersey mesothelioma attorney with over 30 years of experience. He has investigated hundreds of cases and won numerous multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts for asbestos victims. Dave prides himself on working tirelessly to help his clients in their time of need.