Education Key to Supporting Loved Ones with Mesothelioma

In a recent information video, mesothelioma specialist Dr. Robert Case explained that loved ones and caregivers can better support patients with mesothelioma by becoming educated. Case states that it is important to try to understand and meet the patient’s needs by becoming educated on the “disease process.” Thanks to easy access to the Internet, Dr. Case says that it’s easy to get educated and you can “get a lot of information.”

Although information is readily available online, Dr. Case states that a lot of the information is good and some of it is not so good. Loved ones and caregivers can certainly gather information online, but filtering it through a physician is a good idea, he says. No matter how you gather information, Dr. Case concludes by explaining that becoming as educated as you can about the disease and how it’s going to affect the patient is the best thing you can do.

The Internet is home to thousands of websites that offer advice and support to mesothelioma patients. Because there are so many, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the choices. A general rule of thumb is to stick with websites owned by trusted associations, medical facilities, colleges and universities, and government websites. Medical, government, and academic institution websites typically use specific domain extensions including “.org,” “.gov,” and “.edu.”

This does not mean that you have to avoid all “.com’s.” Some medical clinic websites use “.com,” as well as a number of trusted legal firms. In fact, some of the most respected mesothelioma legal firms offer a veritable treasure trove of information about the disease, treatments, facilities, physician profiles, and even listings for former asbestos job sites across the U.S. Simply navigate sites such as these (carefully) and you will be surprised by how easy it is to separate the great sites from the not-so-great.

Some of the top non-legal sources of information about mesothelioma and other forms of cancer include:

The American Cancer Society

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus

National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health

Mayo Clinic

John Hopkins Hospital

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

The American Institute for Cancer Research

United States Environmental Protection Agency

The American Lung Association

Though the Internet offers quick and easy access to an abundance of medical information, some people still prefer good old-fashioned books, print journals, and magazines. Fortunately, your local library will likely have an entire section dedicated to cancer education.