Don’t lose hope if you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. This disease affects more than 2,500 Americans today annually, mainly caused by prolonged asbestos exposure. Inhaling these fibers causes scarring and inflammation in your lungs. What’s crazier is that mesothelioma usually manifests decades after the initial exposure.
However, if you or your loved one has developed mesothelioma, you can still take some crucial steps to improve the survival rate. Mesothelioma sure isn’t curable, but its symptoms can be managed to improve the patient’s quality of life.
So, here’s what you have to do after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Look For A Second Opinion
Usually, patients complain about mesothelioma misdiagnoses when doctors read some very obvious signs of mesothelioma as indicators of a different disease. That’s why a few mesothelioma patients are misdiagnosed with flu, pneumonia, and other diseases.
However, even the complete opposite sometimes happens, i.e., doctors mistake lung disease or other ailments for mesothelioma. Diseases like COPD, pleurisy, asbestosis, and lung cancer often resemble mesothelioma, mainly because all of them also emerge from prolonged asbestos exposure.
Since 14% of all mesothelioma cases are misdiagnosed in the United States, you should get a second opinion after getting your first diagnosis.
- Educate Yourself On This Disease
Do a little study on mesothelioma by reading some online articles. Find out which type of mesothelioma you have developed. Know your disease from the inside out and ask your doctor what sort of symptoms you might experience. Information is your best weapon against mesothelioma.
Leverage online educational resources as well to educate yourself on this condition and learn how to improve your or your loved one’s quality of life. Go to www.mesotheliomahope.com to get accurate, expert-verified, and comprehensive info on mesothelioma treatments, legal aid, financial assistance, and more.
- Talk to a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Many mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos because of corporate negligence. Despite a nationwide ban on asbestos, some companies are still using this dangerous substance, albeit in trace amounts, in their products. For instance, research has shown that talc-based makeup items meant for use by children contain small yet dangerous amounts of asbestos.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, then consider hiring a competent, experienced, and well-reviewed asbestos attorney to take legal action.
Mesothelioma litigation doesn’t require much effort from the patients themselves; lawyers will handle everything and will even fight for your case for a small percentage of the compensation. You can use your settlement winnings to afford mesothelioma treatment.
- Consider Different Treatment Options
The rare cancer called mesothelioma isn’t curable, but doctors can manage it with different medical treatments. They can alleviate the common symptoms of mesothelioma, greatly improving the patient’s quality of life. So, ask your specialist which treatment options they’re going to prescribe for you or your loved one. Remember that personalized treatment options are the most effective.
Radiation and chemotherapy are two common ways to manage severe mesothelioma symptoms. Patients also undergo palliative care to soothe these symptoms. The combined effect of different treatment options helps patients deal with the physical and emotional toll of this disease.
- Research Clinical Trials
We still don’t know much about how to treat mesothelioma, and medical researchers are constantly trying to find new, unique ways to repel the effects of this cancer. As this research continues, more and more effective methods to detect, treat, and possibly overcome this disease will emerge.
So, you should research these innovative trials and even try to participate in some of them. Today, a lot of cancer patients are volunteering for innovative, FDA-approved clinical trials in hopes of getting better.
- Seek Emotional and Social Support
Going through a life-threatening disease isn’t easy, and there may be a sharp decline in the patient’s mental health. That’s why social and emotional support for mesothelioma patients is very important after the first diagnosis. Many mesothelioma patients experience chronic fatigue, which further deteriorates their condition, making it harder for them to fight mesothelioma.
Surveys show that a quarter of mesothelioma patients develop depression. Therefore, it’s important to seek mental health support after a mesothelioma diagnosis and talk to a psychiatrist.
- Gather Proof of Asbestos Exposure
While you are busy fighting mesothelioma symptoms, your asbestos lawyer is developing a strong case in your favor so you can get a sizeable compensation for your sufferings in the end. Help your lawyer by gathering ample evidence of your asbestos exposure, i.e., showcasing how your current or former employer’s negligence is responsible for your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Be candid with your attorney and give them access to whatever documents they need to prove your story’s accuracy. Connect them with possible witnesses who can testify that you were exposed to asbestos at your job. That’s why you build up a strong case against the at-fault party.
- Create a Detailed Medical Record
Create a comprehensive medical record while you undergo treatment for mesothelioma. This record includes the docs on your diagnoses, treatments, medications, and appointments for easy reference. That’s how you can trace the history of your post-diagnosis treatment for legal purposes.
This documented history showcases not just your sufferings but also how much you’ve spent on your mesothelioma treatment, strengthening your case in the court law and facilitating a settlement offer.
- Plan for End-of-Life Care
A typical mesothelioma patient will have 4 to 18 months to live after the diagnosis. However, proper caregiving can greatly enhance a patient’s lifespan.
However, it’s recommended to plan for end-of-life care. So, discuss your loved one’s end-of-life care preferences carefully by collaborating with their healthcare providers.
In short, we’ve discussed what steps to take after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Even though it’s a fatal disease, mesothelioma patients can undergo certain treatments to improve their quality of life.
So, look for social, financial, and emotional support on the patient’s behalf, too. Don’t forget to contact a mesothelioma lawyer to contemplate different legal options.
Always get a second opinion and educate yourself on different aspects of this disease.