The outlook on cancer is not always good. It requires more than just lots of rest and medications to
curb it. Consult with a doctor to find out what’s best for you and your condition. These include the type of treatment means for you, the prognosis, and the money required.
According to an association of registered nurses, mesothelioma gets diagnosed in less than 0.3% of the population. The disease can be a challenge for the healthcare sector to tackle. But, with the help of your questions, a doctor can present you with a clear picture of what you should expect. So, make sure you include the following in your list:
There are four different types of mesothelioma: Pleural (lungs), Pericardial (heart), Peritoneal (abdomen), and testicular. Pleural and peritoneal are the most common cases, while others are rare. You need to know what type of cancer you have for proper treatment.
If the doctor assures you that the location of your cancer is manageable, that is a good sign. Following your treatment, you will need time to recover. Your movements will get restricted, and you will experience bouts of pain in the treated area. So, knowing where your cancer is can help you prepare yourself for what is to come.
It would help if you had a proper timeline of treatment to plan your schedule. At the same time, you need to take time off from work and look into a lifestyle modification such as eating lighter to accommodate the medicines.
Before your cancer starts getting treated, a doctor will go through several factors. These include the stage of cancer, frequency of spreading, and overall well-being. Once they have all the necessary details, they can inform you about treatment.
Some cancer cases take about a year with several rounds of chemo, while others take a few months. So, if you need a properly structured plan, ask your doctor.
Several treatment options are available for you, depending on how localized the mesothelioma is. A doctor may recommend surgery if they need to remove a mass of cells or tissue. Most cases of pleural mesothelioma get treated with surgery. If you have widespread cancer, you may need to get rounds of chemotherapy to kill the cells first. Chemotherapy uses drugs that flow in your bloodstream and kill cancer cells. Sometimes patients, after successful surgery, need to get it.
The last option is going for radiation therapy. Patients who are ineligible for surgery need radiation. The procedure uses a high dosage of radiation to kill cancer cells. It helps in easing symptoms such as chest pain and discomfort. There is also an option of sending you into clinical trials.
These experimental drugs and therapies are still under research but have sufficient data for you to consider. Some clinical trials are positive, and the patient shows signs of recovery. An example of mesothelioma treatment is immunotherapy. During which your immune system gets manipulated to recognize cancer cells.
Treatment can take a toll on you. You may feel lethargic, nauseous, lose weight and have a poor appetite. When you’re weak and exhausted, recovery gets complicated. You may need to get strapped to a glucose IV to get nutrients.
The doctor may need to reconfigure treatment that can aggravate your cancer, such as accelerating cell growth. So, it is good to find out how to stay healthy. A doctor may prescribe you to take painkillers you need to ensure you have them at hand.
Depending on the treatment, you may need to seek a nutritionist to plan your diet. If you’re getting high doses of chemo or radiation, you may need a strictly supervised diet. You may even learn light exercises and stretches to maintain muscle mass. A doctor will also help you plan a proper lifestyle before and after surgery for a smooth recovery.
The factor that determines your prognosis the most is the stage of cancer. If you’re getting treated for fourth-stage mesothelioma, your prognosis may be inconclusive.
Generally, the mesothelioma survival rate runs about 4-18 months after diagnosis. But some patients have lived longer than approximately ten years. However, a consensus across the board is that the estimated current five-year survival rate is more or less ten percent.
After a complete evaluation of the patient’s physical well-being and studying cancer, these numbers make sense. So, don’t rely on the numbers you see on the internet, instead let your doctor guide you. You never know what your chances are.
While you’re getting treatment, a doctor’s primary purpose is to ensure all cancer cells get eradicated. Most cases of mesothelioma after treatment do not return. You may also end up with a high life expectancy greater than anticipated depending on your response to the treatment.
But there are rare cases where the mesothelioma returns, and you may need to go through another round of treatments. But rest be assured, once you seek timely help, you have nothing to fear.
Mesothelioma can get financially draining. You’re not paying for the treatment alone but also for the diagnosis and staying at the hospital. The primary way most patients pay for treatment is through health insurance. You can go for private options or government-funded insurance programs. The coverage will help you with hospitalization, prescriptions, and even follow-up tests.
But in most cases, with insurance, you will need to pay a deductible. If you’re much older or don’t have a good income, you can tap into government health programs. These programs can help you pay for cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation. As a veteran, you get compensated through care packages specific to your profession. You get various cancer centers to seek treatments from, while veteran benefits can help you cover the cost.
You may also seek legal compensation when you know what caused cancer. If you were deliberately exposed to asbestos by the company you worked for, they need to take responsibility. Your options include going for a lawsuit, tapping into a trust fund, having a trial by the verdict, or ending up with a settlement. But, the legal method may take longer, and you will need to wait before the money comes your way.
A cancer diagnosis is not easy. It can overwhelm you with the endless uncertainties you may harbor about the disease. But, with careful questioning of your medical practitioner, you should have no trouble understanding where you stand.
You should find out what type of mesothelioma you have and what the treatment looks like for you. Your questions should cover all the fundamentals, including options and staying healthy during such a challenging time. You may navigate into complex hitting territories by asking about survival rates and chances of remission.
The last piece of the puzzle is surveying your options while managing costs. You should have no trouble preparing for treatment with these factors in mind.