What can I do after a mesothelioma diagnosis?
A single doctor’s visit will not divulge to you if you should receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. After mesothelioma symptoms become worse, your physician will order various exams in order to confirm a diagnosis and this process can take several months.
Once you are given a diagnosis of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness, it is important to recount your work history and the work history of loved ones with whom you lived. This will help you begin to document what could have been your initial exposure to asbestos.
Most likely, your doctor will refer you out to a team of specialists. These doctors will decide upon a treatment path for your particular type of mesothelioma or asbestos-related illness. Your specialists can include radiologists, surgeons or pulmonologists. Normally, this type of disease is treated with a modality approach which involves the use of three treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery can be used to remove tumors and chemotherapy and radiation can be used to shrink tumors.
Alternative treatments such as experimental trials that use immunotherapy, gene therapy and alternative medicines can also be considered. Some of these have worked for others with a mesothelioma diagnosis but your medical team will advise you what is best for your individual diagnosis. As with any malignancy, early detection is important to surviving and this is no different for any type of mesothelioma including pleural (lungs), peritoneal (abdomen), pericardial (heart) and testicular. An early mesothelioma diagnosis can increase treatment options as well as mesothelioma life expectancy.
Medical treatment does not have to be your only concern after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. You should also try to pursue legal action against those parties that illegally exposed you to the asbestos, a deadly carcinogen. There are many lawyers that claim to practice mesothelioma but you should ensure you work with a law firm that not only specializes in tort law but has a strong record of winning at trial or obtaining successful settlements for their clients. Do not be afraid to ask for proof or references as to their abilities in representing your case.
Most mesothelioma prognoses are poor but some individuals have beaten the death sentence. Many factors will determine how long you can survive including stage of disease, site of tumor, age and overall health of the patient. Although the medical community might not know why some survive a long time and others don’t, many survivors have undergone treatment to strengthen their immune system. A very few have even been survivors for over 15 years. In the end, it is essential for patients to learn everything they can about mesothelioma because it is the key to understanding their condition. Remember that an early diagnosis and proper treatment are essential when it comes to fighting mesothelioma as well as extending your life.