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Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, lung cancer or an asbestos-related disease?

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Where to Go for Treatment

The leading cancer treatment hospitals are usually the best place to find doctors and other health care providers who are up to date on the latest research and treatments for this rare disease. The survival rate for those who do not receive aggressive treatment right after they are diagnosed with mesothelioma is only four to nine months. It is important to start treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.

In malignant mesothelioma, tumors grow in a hard plate-like form that surrounds the organs, and the body cavities fill with fluid, making the disease difficult to treat. It is also a very rare disease. Although it was first recognized as a unique disease in the 1940’s, research dollars are just starting to fund new ways to diagnose and, someday, possibly cure the disease. You need to work with specialists experienced in treating mesothelioma cancer.

It is also usually a good idea to get a second opinion once you are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Some insurance companies require this if you are going to have surgery. Other insurance companies will OK a second opinion if you request it. The cost of cancer treatment is high, so it is always a good idea to check with your insurance company.

How does treatment work?

At a cancer hospital or cancer treatment center, you will be under the care of a team of doctors and other specialists. These may include:

  • A surgeon
  • A thoracic surgeon (a surgeon who specializes in treating the lung and heart)
  • An oncologist (a doctor who specializes in treating cancer)
  • A pathologist (a doctor who examines cells under a microscope to determine if they are malignant)
  • Skilled nurses
  • A psychologist and/or psychiatrist, who can help with the very common depression and anxiety such a serious disease can cause, as well as provide family and marital counseling
  • Social workers, who can also providing counseling, help you and your loved ones find support groups, and locate services in your community that can help with home care, transportation, and guidance if you need to apply for government disability assistance
  • A pain specialist
  • Complementary therapy providers

Being treated by a team of specialists at the same hospital means all your health care providers are on the same page. They can work together to provide your treatment and improve your quality of life.

Because mesothelioma is a rare disease which has not been studied as extensively as many other kinds of cancer, finding a team of specialists experienced in treating the disease is crucial – you may want to consider one of these leading cancer treatment centers.

What about my primary care physician?

Finding mesothelioma specialists and getting a second opinion does not mean that your primary care physician is out of the picture. Although your family doctor is not likely to have experience treating mesothelioma, he or she is still an important part of your medical team. It’s good to know that there is someone on the team you’re comfortable with. Your family doctor can help you frame questions for the specialists, discuss your options, and help explain the treatments that the cancer specialists will recommend. Your primary care physician can also be an important advocate in helping you convince your insurance company to pay for certain tests and treatment.

What if there isn’t a leading cancer center near my home?

You may be able to find excellent treatment close to home, but you may need to travel for treatment. It is important to get the best and newest treatments, so don’t let the cost of traveling for treatment scare you. Look into all your options. There are several organizations that will help you cover the cost of travel and lodging when you need treatment out of town.

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