Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that claims the lives of many Americans each year. Asbestos is the primary culprit. However, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, you must know what to do next. Not everything known about asbestos and mesothelioma can be found on search websites. And while you might assume your best course of action would be to visit a doctor and begin chemotherapy as soon as possible, there are things you can do to get yourself back on track and improve your short-term quality of life.
Learn About Mesothelioma Causes and Symptoms
A mesothelioma is a form of cancer that can affect multiple organs in the body but most commonly affects the lungs. A person who has mesothelioma will often have a cough and pain in the chest or abdomen. The disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, which was once used in many products such as insulation, roofing materials, and even car brakes.
Asbestos was used because it was cheap and durable, but it turned out to be one of the most dangerous substances ever created by humans. Unfortunately, many people were exposed to asbestos during their working lives without knowing how difficult it was for them. The following are some warning signs that may indicate that you have this disease:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Coughing up blood or sputum (a mixture of saliva and mucus)
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
Schedule an Appointment With Your Doctor
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should speak with your doctor immediately. There is a chance that there are other causes of your symptoms. For example, lung cancer and heart problems can sometimes cause similar symptoms. Your doctor will ensure you receive the right treatment for your condition.
Your doctor will likely perform a physical examination and may order some tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. This is important because your doctor can also tell whether or not you have mesothelioma, which type (pleural or peritoneal) and how far it has progressed. They can also discuss treatments with you and answer any questions you might have about your prognosis or long-term outlook for survival after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The type of treatment recommended depends on several factors, including:
A patient’s age can affect the type of treatment recommended for mesothelioma. For instance, younger patients respond better to chemotherapy than older patients. Younger patients also tend to live longer after receiving chemotherapy than older patients.
Stage of the Disease
The stage of mesothelioma is an important factor in determining the type of treatment recommended for it. In general, early-stage mesothelioma responds better to chemotherapy than late-stage mesothelioma does. As with many other forms of cancer, early detection and treatment are crucial to beating the disease.
Size of the Tumor and its Location
The sort of mesothelioma treatment that is advised depends heavily on the size and location of the tumor. If you have a small tumor in an area where surgery is possible, surgery may be a good option. Surgery may also be considered if you have a larger tumor, but it has been determined that the cancer has not spread to other body parts (metastasized). If cancer has metastasized, then chemotherapy might be recommended as well as radiation therapy.
In Regard to Whether or Not the Tumor has Spread to Other Parts of the Body
If your doctor believes that your mesothelioma has spread to other organs, like your lungs or abdomen, then you may be a candidate for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These treatments can help slow down or stop the spread of the disease and can sometimes improve symptoms.
Consult With a Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you believe your exposure to asbestos caused your mesothelioma diagnosis, it is important to consult with a mesothelioma attorney specializing in asbestos litigation. A lawyer can assist in defending your rights and ensuring that you get reimbursed for the costs of your medical care, your suffering, and any lost wages because of your illness. The attorney can help determine whether your employer was negligent in exposing employees without providing protective gear or training them on preventing exposure and minimizing risks associated with asbestos exposure.
Join a Support Group for Asbestos Victims
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may feel alone and scared. You might have come into contact with asbestos at work or at home. But many other people have gone through the same thing. Joining an online support group can help you connect with others who understand what you are going through and can offer advice based on their own experiences. There are also support groups that meet in person, which is another great way to meet people who have been through similar situations.
Several social media groups bring together people affected by mesothelioma. These groups allow people to interact with each other through online forums and chat rooms. They also allow patients to share their experiences, offer advice, and support one another during difficult times.
Find Out the Point You Were Exposed to Asbestos
Another step in treating mesothelioma is determining where the asbestos exposure occurred. If you think you were exposed to asbestos at work or on-site, take steps to find out where and when this exposure occurred. If you can’t remember all the places where you worked, ask people who worked with you at those locations if they know anything about asbestos exposure there and how much time elapsed between exposure and diagnosis. This information will help doctors determine which treatments work best for your specific case.
Take Advantage of Disability Benefits
The other step in your mesothelioma recovery is taking advantage of disability benefits. Immediately after receiving your diagnosis, submit an application for Social Security Disability benefits if you have a sufficient work history of being eligible. If you have not worked long enough, start saving money to afford to retire or quit working early and live on a fixed income until your Social Security payments begin.
You can apply for disability benefits independently, but it’s best to have a lawyer by your side. A lawyer can help you file the proper paperwork, fill out forms, and present your case in court.
Take Care of Your Health with Healthy Eating, Exercise, and Rest
It’s important to take care of yourself while receiving treatment for mesothelioma. Healthy habits include eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly (30 minutes of exercise at least five times per week), getting enough sleep (seven to eight hours per night), and avoiding stressors that may increase your risk for illness (smoking and drug use). This will help your body fight off infection and help keep you strong during treatment sessions at the hospital or clinic.
Make Sure Your Medical Records are Complete and in Order
Mesothelioma is a complicated disease and can be difficult to diagnose. Make sure all records are complete and organized so your doctor can review them easily. A big part of treating any type of cancer is getting accurate diagnoses for all previous incidents or diseases you’ve had so your doctors know what problems to watch out for during treatment.
If you have had any previous surgeries or other procedures involving anesthesia (including dental work), make sure your doctor knows about them so they can make any necessary adjustments when giving anesthesia during surgery for your mesothelioma treatment. This will help him, or she determine the best treatment options for you.
Since there is no known cure for mesothelioma and more people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year, it is important to remember that there are ways to reduce your chances of getting it.
What you should do depends on whether you have had asbestos at work or at home. Your employer can be responsible for paying your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering if you were exposed to asbestos at work. If you were exposed at home, chances are that someone is responsible for your exposure and may owe compensation to you. In either case, it is crucial to speak with a qualified mesothelioma lawyer about your case as soon as possible.