MESOTHELIOMA TREATMENT CENTERS
Choosing the mesothelioma treatment center that is right for you
September 1, 2010 – Approximately 3,000 individuals are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma each year, thrusting them into a situation that is challenging, confusing and scary.
Families and patients are confronted with making crucial decisions regarding medical treatment, the most important of which can be choosing a healthcare facility that specializes in mesothelioma, a very rare cancer.
After a mesothelioma diagnosis is confirmed by the family doctor or a cancer specialist, mesothelioma treatment centers become the patient’s primary and ultimate source for cancer treatment.
Choosing a mesothelioma treatment center
If you are already being treated by a cancer specialist, you may wish to locate a facility based on where he or she practices. Your doctor may be able to recommend mesothelioma treatment centers that meet your specific needs.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) offers a guide on how to choose from the mesothelioma treatment centers in the United States. The NCI suggests asking important questions, including:
- Has the facility had experience and success in treating my condition?
- Has the facility been approved by a nationally recognized accrediting body, such as the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer and/or The Joint Commission?
- Does the treatment facility offer support services, such as social workers and resources, to help me find financial assistance if I need it?
If you have a health insurance plan, your choice of treatment facilities may be limited to those that participate in your plan. Your insurance company can provide you with a list of approved mesothelioma treatment centers.
If you are considering paying for treatment yourself, you should discuss the possible costs with your doctor, as well as the person who does the billing for the treatment center.
The healthcare team
When patients with mesothelioma begin treatment, they are introduced to a healthcare team composed of specialists and “subspecialists.” A subspecialist is a board-certified specialist who has had additional education in their area of practice. This additional training is designed to increase the physician’s expertise in that field.
According to the NCI, specialties and subspecialties practiced at cancer treatment centers include:
Medical Oncology, a subspecialty of internal medicine. Doctors who specialize in internal medicine treat a wide range of medical problems. Medical oncologists treat cancer and manage the patient’s course of treatment. A medical oncologist may also consult with other physicians about the patient’s care or refer the patient to other specialists.
Hematology is a subspecialty of internal medicine. Hematologists focus on diseases of the blood and related tissues, including the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes.
Radiation Oncology is a subspecialty of radiology. Radiology is the use of x-rays and other forms of radiation to diagnose and treat disease. Radiation oncologists specialize in the use of radiation to treat cancer.
Surgery is a specialty that pertains to operations on the affected area of the body. Physicians can also choose to specialize in a certain type of surgery. For example, thoracic surgeons are specialists who perform operations specifically in the chest area, including the lungs and the esophagus. Thoracic surgeons play a prominent role in the care of many mesothelioma patients.
Treatment centers pioneer alternative therapies
Mesothelioma treatment centers offer patients cutting-edge care based on research discoveries made in mesothelioma clinical trials. Such novel treatments include photodynamic therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy, all of which have shown encouraging results.
Early detection is very helpful to a mesothelioma patient’s survival. With more treatment alternatives to choose from, there can be a higher success rate in shrinking or removing tumors. Mesothelioma treatment centers offer new tests that aid in early detection, such as the Mesomark blood test. Advanced treatments like this have contributed to a rise in traditional survival rates for mesothelioma.
Legal options for a mesothelioma diagnosis If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer from asbestos and seek free information about your eligibility to receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and suffering, contact our firm through the form on this page.