What to do after a mesothelioma diagnosis
A mesothelioma diagnosis can be shocking, frustrating, and overwhelming. Here’s what to do next after being given the news.
You know you’re facing challenging days when you’re given a mesothelioma diagnosis, and you’ll undoubtedly have many questions running through your mind, including:
- What should I do next?
- What type of treatment should I begin?
- Will I be able to manage the financial impact of mesothelioma?
- What will my loved ones do?
These questions, as well as understandable feelings of shock, may make it difficult for you to deal with the diagnosis positively. However, you should focus on concrete actions that will help you move forward.
Know what you are facing
The first step is to know what you are facing. What is mesothelioma, and how does it affect your health and quality of life?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer, which is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos. There are several types of mesothelioma, but the most common types are peritoneal and pleural – these two account for almost all mesothelioma cases in the US.
After a mesothelioma diagnosis, the first thing you need to know is the type of mesothelioma you have. Ask your doctor about the organs it affects, what symptoms you should expect, and how its location in your body will affect your quality of life.
For instance, pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs and can affect your breathing ability. In that case, you should seek a referral to a respiratory therapist. Also, breathing exercises and gentle movements can help you improve your breathing.
Peritoneal mesothelioma causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, constipation, heartburn, and indigestion. In this case, you should work with a dietician to help you come up with an eating plan.
Start a treatment plan
Mesothelioma is a serious disease, and like with any serious illness, you should seek the best quality medical treatment available. Mesothelioma can progress fast, so you should seek medical care quickly.
Early-stage (stage 1 and 2) victims are eligible for a combination of treatments, including radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy. Younger, healthier patients in stage 3 can also receive a combination of these treatments. However, surgery may not be appropriate for mesothelioma patients at a late stage unless their health is good enough.
Understand your financial and legal options
Facing a life-threatening illness can be stressful and overwhelming. However, it can be less overwhelming if you have clear legal information on the possibility of getting compensated.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, financial security is important. An experienced mass tort lawyer specializing in mesothelioma can help get the monetary compensation you deserve. Monetary compensation can:
- Assist you in getting the high-quality medical treatment you need.
- Offer financial to the people you leave behind.
- Provide compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Improve the quality of life for the remaining time.
- Give you peace about the future and the futures of your loved ones.
Get all the support you need
Dealing with mesothelioma is tough, and you need emotional support as part of your care. Friends and family members can be your support system. However, you may want to talk to a therapist or social worker and be open about your fears without having to worry about how family members will react.
Photo by Jeffrey Wegrzyn