Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. This type of cancer typically occurs in the linings of organs such as the lungs or abdomen. It is one of the deadliest cancers, and the typical life expectancy of a patient after diagnosis is between 18-31 months. However, there are treatments available that may prolong your life expectancy and control your symptoms. But before we discuss these treatments more, we must first understand the symptoms of mesothelioma.
Symptoms Of Mesothelioma
If the following symptoms emerge, one must seek immediate medical help:
· Chest pain
· Abdominal pain
· Shortness of breath
· Fluid buildup
· Night sweats
· Weight loss
· Coughing or wheezing
· Loss of appetite
The early signs are specially challenging to detect because they are mild. As a result, people generally tend to ignore common symptoms or misdiagnose them as common illnesses. But these symptoms eventually get worse as time passes by.
If you get these symptoms, ask your doctor to conduct a physical exam, looking for unusual signs or lumps. They may also order CT scans or X-rays. In case they find anything, your doctor may order other tests to determine the type of cancer. Apart from that, here are some steps to take:
1) Prepare For The Cost Of Treatment
Like every other cancer, mesothelioma treatments are also expensive. If you don’t have enough funds, you cannot benefit from chemotherapy or surgery. Therefore, your first concern would be to arrange the money for treatment.
In case you suspect that you were exposed to asbestos due to construction work nearby or workplace negligence, then you can sue the company. However, to make a solid case, you will need the help of a reputable law firm like the national mesothelioma law firm. Apart from that, you will need solid proof of your claim. In case you win the case, then the monetary compensation can cover your treatment expenses. Some organizations can provide financial help to cancer patients, including assistance for transportation, co-pays, child care, home care, etc.
2) Treatment For Mesothelioma
The treatments your doctor recommends will depend upon the type of cancer and your health. Its location and stage also determine the type of treatment recommended for you.
However, the bad news is that mesothelioma is a very aggressive type of cancer, and most people are unable to get cured. The reason for that is that mesothelioma is typically diagnosed when the symptoms get worse at advanced stages. At such an advanced stage, it becomes impossible to treat cancer through an operation. In that case, your doctor can only recommend treatments to control cancer so that you can be comfortable. Discussing your treatment goals with the doctor can help you determine the best step for your health and comfort.
If the doctors detect mesothelioma during the early stages, they can perform surgery to remove it. In few cases, this surgery can even cure you. However, most of the time, this approach isn’t completely successful, and doctors can only remove some parts of cancer. In that case, surgery can help reduce the symptoms and slow the spread of cancer. Some surgery options include:
· Surgery to decrease fluid buildup
· Surgery to remove tissue surrounding the lungs
· Surgery to remove a lung and its surrounding tissue
· Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma
Chemotherapy involved the usage of different chemicals to kill the cancer cells or slow their growth. Chemotherapy can help in shrinking the cancer cells or slowing their growth rate. Chemotherapy is generally recommended in case the surgery is unable to remove all cancer tissues from the body. Some people also opt for chemotherapy before opting for surgery to make the process easier and increase their chances of success. In addition to that, chemotherapy also reduces the chances of cancer returning.
5) Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is the process of focusing beams from X-rays and proton machines to a specific spot. This high-energy radiation helps in killing the cancer cells or shrinking them. Typically, doctors recommend radiation after surgery to kill any leftover cancer cells and ensure they don’t come back.
6) Other Treatments
You can also opt for treatments such as immunotherapy or targeted therapy to beat mesothelioma in specific conditions. Some people even opt for clinical trials if they really want to prolong their life span. However, the main concern after being diagnosed is to cope with the disease and find the necessary support. Being diagnosed with mesothelioma is really devastating, and mental distress can affect your immune system. Therefore, you must keep calm health and make decisions about your healthcare.
ConclusionDealing with cancer is not a one-person job. Every cancer patient needs a supportive network of friends and family who can help you with your daily needs and cheer you up when you feel unwell. However, the first task is to be honest with yourself about your health and condition. Then, you have to accept the inevitable and make decisions accordingly