an elderly woman speaking to a family member

How to Help Your Family Understand Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma is scary as there is often no cure. While doctors can help alleviate some symptoms, there is not a lot they can do to fight this aggressive form of cancer.

Breaking this news to family members can be difficult. But by being informed about the cancer, you can help them better understand your diagnosis.

How Did You Get It?

Usually, mesothelioma develops after a person gets exposed to asbestos. This often occurred in the workplace years ago, as the material was heavily used as fire-resistant insulation in homes and buildings. People could also be exposed to asbestos second-hand if they come into someone who has asbestos on them.

What Are Treatments Like?

While rarely curable, there are treatments to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by mesothelioma, including chemotherapy and radiation. However, if the cancer is caught early enough, a doctor may be able to perform surgery. There are three different types of surgery a doctor could perform:

  • Decreasing fluid buildup: If you have fluid in your chest, a surgeon could insert a tube to drain the fluid. Doctors can also provide medicine to prevent the fluid from returning.
  • Removing tissue around lungs: Surgeons can remove tissue lining the ribs and lungs to help relieve some symptoms of mesothelioma.
  • Removing a lung: By removing the affected lung, doctors can alleviate some symptoms. By removing the affected lung, a doctor could give a higher dose of radiation therapy to you since they won’t need to worry about damaging the now removed lung from radiation.

What’s the Prognosis for Mesothelioma?

It’s good to inform family members about your prognosis. Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage which means that an operation would not be successful. Most people who have mesothelioma have an average life expectancy of 14-22 months.

What Else Should You Be Prepared For?

If someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma, they will most likely need help taking care of day-to-day activities. It’s best to make arrangements now, because they may not feel well enough to later. Such arrangements may include difficult conversations about plans for after the person’s passing.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’ll want to contact an experienced attorney so you are financially compensated. At Shrader & Associates L.L.P., we have helped secure millions for our past clients. Reach out for a consultation today to see how we can fight for you.

Categories