Despite being one of the more aggressive cancers found, especially in those who have left the military, mesothelioma is not often talked about in the media nor by charities who ostensibly are there to raise awareness. As such, a mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary. Here, we’re going to look at how you can deal with such a diagnosis and ensure the best quality of life that you can.
Understanding the seriousness of it
Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer, usually caused by inhaling carcinogens routinely, that can be fatal if it’s not treated quickly enough. At stage 1, the life expectancy can is roughly around 20 months. However, most cases are at stage 3 by the time they’re diagnosed, which carries a life expectancy of 16 months. Your options can differ depending on the condition of the cancer and where it’s located. Tumors can be removed from the body via surgery, and chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy can attack the cancer cells throughout the body. In most cases, a surgical approach is recommended when dealing with mesothelioma. However, working with an oncologist is the single best way to get advice that’s best related to your own case.
Working with the best
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, then any doctor worth their salt is going to recommend taking an active approach to treat it. However, as rare and aggressive as the disease can be, it can be wise to work with specialists who are better equipped than the average doctor. For instance, you can get in touch with the Mesothelioma Veterans Center, which provides all manner of specific advice on lifestyle changes to make, as well as services you could benefit from, treatments available, and the compensation that veterans can get to help them cover some of the costs. Veterans are some of those most at risk of developing this particular form of cancer, so it’s a good idea to use the resources aimed specifically at people like you.
Taking care of your mental health
It should be no surprise that a mesothelioma diagnosis can affect the mental and emotional health of those who receive it in a profound way. It might not always be immediately obvious how they will hit you, but if you start to feel your mood becoming bleak, or stress, anxiety, and fear having a large impact on your life, then you should look at what help could be available for you. There are, of course, cancer support groups that can help you share your situation with others and get some perspective from those in a similar situation to you, but you might also want to consider talking to a therapist.
Getting diagnosed with a disease as serious as mesothelioma can change your life forever. Hopefully, the tips above help you navigate some of those changes as best as possible. Being active in seeking the treatment that can improve your chances and improve your quality of life as soon as possible should be your first priority.