Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the thin layers of tissue covering the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. It most commonly affects the tissue surrounding the lungs, but it can also occur in the tissue around the abdomen and heart.
Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, but studies show that it can take years for the disease to develop after initial contact with the mineral.
Unfortunately, this condition has a poor prognosis, with most patients surviving for less than two years after their mesothelioma diagnosis and staging. However, accessing support services can greatly improve the quality of life for those affected and their loved ones.
Several types of support services are available to mesothelioma patients, including medical care and treatment, financial assistance, emotional support, and practical support. This article will explore how to access these services and provide resources for finding help.
Let’s dive in!
Medical care and treatment for mesothelioma
Mesothelioma treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and palliative care. The best treatment plan will depend on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the health of the patient as a whole.
Before deciding what method to use, it’s highly recommended that you seek out a specialist who is experienced in treating this type of cancer for advice.
Another option is to take part in a clinical trial, which gives you access to new and experimental treatments that may not be available through regular medical care. Taking part in these trials can also give you hope if you have tried all other treatments and have nothing left to try.
Finally, don’t forget to seek a second opinion from another specialist, as different doctors may have different recommendations for treatment.
Financial assistance for mesothelioma patients
When insurance doesn’t cover it, treating mesothelioma can be very hard on a person’s finances. The good news is that people with mesothelioma and their families can get help paying for treatment and other costs through several financial assistance programs. Hospitals, charitable organizations, and government agencies are good places to start.
Patients with mesothelioma may also be able to get disability payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA provides financial assistance to individuals unable to work due to a debilitating medical condition such as mesothelioma.
Another option for financial assistance is to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. Many of these cases are caused by exposure to asbestos in the workplace, which means it may be possible to seek compensation from the company responsible for the exposure. Talking to a lawyer with experience in similar cases could help you figure out your legal options and how to file a lawsuit.
Emotional support for mesothelioma patients
A mesothelioma diagnosis can be emotionally taxing, which explains why support is so important for patients looking to cope with this life-changing event.
Support groups are a great way to get help because they give people a sense of community and a safe place to talk about their thoughts and feelings. These groups may be held in person or online, with most now organized by hospitals, cancer centers, or advocacy organizations.
There are also a lot of online resources and support groups for people with mesothelioma and their family members. Use these resources to learn about treatment options, financial help, and ways to deal with a mesothelioma diagnosis, among other things.
In addition to support groups and online resources, therapy or counseling may be helpful for anyone struggling with their diagnosis and the challenges that come with it. A mental health professional can give a patient that safe and private place to work through their feelings and find healthy ways to deal with them.
Practical support for mesothelioma patients
During treatment, people with mesothelioma may need help with everyday tasks and chores around the house. This support can be provided by friends, family members, or professional caregivers.
Patients with mesothelioma may also have trouble getting to their medical appointments, especially if they are too sick to drive. Having someone to take care of this can mean a lot to them.
The support of a caregiver is another important part of practical help for someone with mesothelioma. Caregivers can be family members or people who get paid to help with things like bathing, getting dressed, and taking medications.
Lastly, you may also need help from a lawyer, especially if you are considering suing for money. A mesothelioma lawyer can guide you through the legal options available and help with the process of filing a lawsuit.
Managing mesothelioma is tough and the last thing you want to do is go it alone. Fortunately, a variety of support services are available to help patients, their families, and friends with emotional and practical support. It’s important to know how these services work so that you can access them when needed.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand where to look for vital resources if and when they are required. Good luck!