What would you do if you had to stand in front of the mirror and say, “I have mesothelioma?” Most people don’t really know what mesothelioma cancer is or have just heard about it in passing on television commercials. Mesothelioma is a lethal type of cancer that strikes the lining of certain organs in the human body. Mesothelioma can be one of four different types, including pleural which develops in the lining of the lungs, peritoneum which arises in the abdominal region, pericardial which develops around the area of the heart and tunica vaginalis which develops around the testes. These types of mesothelioma also can be further classified into three cell types, including epithelial, sarcomatoid and biphasic – a mixture of the two.
If you can say to yourself – I have mesothelioma – you want to start with a mesothelioma prognosis that is provided by a medical expert in the field of mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses. The vast majority of mesothelioma diagnoses come after a person goes to the doctor complaining of various symptoms. These symptoms generally include chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, weight loss and a persistent cough. It is these symptoms that make mesothelioma difficult to diagnose, because they mask symptoms of so many other conditions. Your medical team will perform the necessary tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of mesothelioma. These tests usually include biopsy samples, x-rays, CT scans and echocardiograms.
Once a mesothelioma diagnosis is made and the question, “do I have mesothelioma” is answered, the patient has to come-to-grips with having the disease. Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be a daunting experience for anyone. First you have to own that you have mesothelioma; then take the appropriate steps to fight it. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the first thing you must do is consult with a specialized oncologist. The oncologist will be able to recommend the proper mesothelioma treatment plan for you. It is imperative that you get on a treatment plan sooner than later because as with most malignancies, survival depends on when the cancer is caught and the treatment used to fight it. The next thing that you should do is consult with a qualified asbestos attorney. Because medical expenses can be astronomical, seeking legal representation is of the utmost importance. Also, you the patient might be entitled to monetary damages from the company or companies who were responsible for exposing you to asbestos.
A mesothelioma prognosis for someone with mesothelioma is subject to different dynamics including the cell type, stage at time of diagnosis and overall health of the patient at the time. Having mesothelioma is not the death sentence that it once was. More and more patients are now living longer thanks to advancements in medical treatments which generally include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. Other treatments for mesothelioma being looked at are gene therapy and holistic medicine. Both offer alternatives to the conventional treatments. After all the noise is silenced, you have to ask yourself, do I have mesothelioma or does mesothelioma have me?