What You Can Do to Improve Mesothelioma Survival
Mesothelioma survival is dependent on many outside factors, but there are actions that patients can take to help improve their rate of survival.
Work With a Specialist
Mesothelioma specialists have the potential to significantly transform the care for individuals affected by mesothelioma — both for the patient and their loved ones.
Finding a mesothelioma specialist or a team of specialists will likely be one of the most important decisions a patient can make. Specialists offer skills including the ability to diagnose mesothelioma and develop personalized, unique treatment options for each individual patient. They also offer experience.
Though mesothelioma is still rare, specialists see several patients each year, allowing them to become familiar with the cancer and its treatment.
Finally, specialists will have connections. They will have knowledge about the newest, most promising treatment options for the patient and will be well-connected with the clinical trial community, helping their patient discover the most advanced and appropriate trial for them.
Get a Second Opinion
There are several standards that remain the same across treatment and care for mesothelioma, yet, the research and experience of every specialist will vary.
There will be several different methods preferred when treating a patient, and many different experiences and research to pull from. Having more than one mesothelioma specialist work together on the patient’s diagnosis and treatment can be beneficial and help narrow down the best possible treatment even further.
All patients have rights, and one of these rights is the opportunity to gain a second opinion regarding the diagnosis and treatment options. This just means that the patient has the ability to consult with another specialist to confirm a diagnosis or find different types of treatment options available.
It’s worth remembering that every specialist has something different to bring to the table, and with the growth and development of research comes new and different knowledge.
Seek Support and Resources
Physical treatment is necessary, as is mental and emotional support. It is completely normal for patients to feel overwhelmed or frightened, and it is important for them to be with people who care about them.
Developing a strong support system is just as much of a necessity as working with a team of medical specialists. Patients will find that speaking to others in similar situations and sharing resources and knowledge will help their mental well-being and may eliminate some stress and fear.
Good mental health and positive well-being are also necessary to survive mesothelioma. Patients should look to find support depending on their needs and preferences, such as counseling, mesothelioma support groups, and friends and family.
It is also important for caregivers or family members to know that mesothelioma support is also essential for their well-being.
Supporting someone with mesothelioma is a considerable emotional process and no one should go through this alone. Studies have illustrated that patients with terminal cancers who join support groups have higher survival rates and increased quality of life.