Mesothelioma patients have a lot to offer one another, and often share experiences for each other’s well-being
September 23, 2010 - Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, many patients experience a broad spectrum of emotions. Many are surprised to hear that the cancer now threatening their lives is related to work they performed decades ago with asbestos-based products.
This is because mesothelioma symptoms can take up to 50 years to appear after a person has been exposed to asbestos. Without the presence of symptoms, mesothelioma patients usually do not even realize they have developed the disease. In most cases, the asbestos-related cancer that is diagnosed in 3,000 individuals every year in the U.S. isn’t discovered until it reaches its later stages, when mesothelioma treatment options become limited.
Upon learning that their life-threatening cancer was preventable, and probably the result of negligence on the part of former employers or asbestos product manufacturers, surprise can often turn into anger at the responsible parties who chose company profits over the cost of work-site health safety for their employees. That realization, combined with the cost of medical care, spurs many patients to seek mesothelioma legal support and financial compensation for their work-related disease.
Support groups are crucial to patients
Before mesothelioma patients run the full gamut of emotions, many are initially frightened and confused about their diagnosis. Doctors often advise patients to educate themselves on the subject of the disease so that they can be more proactive in fighting the cancer.
Mesothelioma support groups are wonderful resources of information, and comfort. Your personal support team can be just as important to you as your medical team in that respect. The important thing to realize is that you are not alone in this diagnosis and that you can obtain information and draw comfort from those around you participating in cancer support groups.
Books written by mesothelioma survivors help
The average survival time for mesothelioma patients is less than two years, according to the American Cancer Society, though a small percentage live five years or longer. In some cases, patients have survived up to 15 years after their diagnosis. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but there are treatment options that can help improve the quality of a patient’s life and perhaps extend it, depending on each individual patient.
Some long-term mesothelioma survivors have even written books on their fight to overcome the disease and the alternative treatment options that worked for them. Reading about the emotions and successes experienced by long-term survivors can provide insight into the road ahead for those recently diagnosed.
One best seller is titled, “Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide,” written by Paul Kraus, an Australian patient who survived more than 15 years after his diagnosis. Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones may also enjoy reading “Lean on Me – Cancer through a Carer’s Eyes,” a touching story by Lorraine Kember about her husband’s battle with mesothelioma.
How to locate mesothelioma doctors
A patient's family doctor is usually the first doctor that is consulted. When family doctors suspect an asbestos-related disease they will refer the patient to a cancer specialist.
Weitz & Luxenberg is now helping patients and clients connect with the top mesothelioma doctors in the United States. In most cases, mesothelioma doctors are located in larger cities and are associated with top-notch universities and cancer research centers.
These top mesothelioma doctors are involved in research as well as patient care, and are qualified to provide mesothelioma patients with the latest information on both, as well as up-to-date information on mesothelioma clinical trials.
Home care and hospice care is available
Hospice care is an option for those with terminal mesothelioma and offers many services that can help both the terminally ill patient and their families deal with the realities of the disease.
Hospice services may be offered in a hospital setting, a skilled nursing facility, or at home. The majority of a hospice patient's time is typically spent at home. Services include medical care, psychological counseling and spiritual support for both patients and their families.
Hospice workers deliver medical care that is meant to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life, but is not expected to cure the cancer. The aim of hospice care is to keep a patient comfortable and alert, and assist the mesothelioma patient and their family in facing the realities of their prognosis.
Legal options for asbestos-injured patients
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis and seek legal support or free guidance on your eligibility to receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills and suffering, contact Weitz & Luxenberg today through the communication form presented here.