5 Questions about Mesothelioma to Ask a Specialist
By Kristina Johnson |
Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma is intimidating, but here are five questions to ask you specialist to ease any fears. The more information you know about mesothelioma and your treatment, the easier this process will be.
Questions About Mesothelioma to Ask a Specialist
A rush of emotions and questions is probably swarming your mind if you have started experiencing mesothelioma symptoms. These feelings are natural since mesothelioma is so rare. We want to remind you that even though this is frightening, there are people who can make dealing with this process easier. Asking a mesothelioma specialist questions and being informed through each mesothelioma stage prepares you physically and mentally for this journey.
Every cancer is intimidating, but getting mesothelioma is terrifying. This cancer is aggressive and has a high mortality rate. Research shows that over 3,000 people were diagnosed worldwide with mesothelioma in 2020. Let us help and guide you so you feel equipped to handle your next appointment with the top five questions about mesothelioma we recommend asking a mesothelioma specialist.
1. Is Mesothelioma the Same As Lung Cancer?
Although mesothelioma and lung cancer are both cancer types that attack the lungs, they are not the same. Smoking causes lung cancer, while asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma and affects the lining of your lungs. Unlike mesothelioma, lung cancer forms by cells growing out of control and spreading throughout the body.
According to research, each year, there are over 238,000 new cases of lung cancer in the United States. This is the second most common cancer in men and women and the leading cause of cancer deaths. The chances of getting mesothelioma are very rare, while the likelihood of developing lung cancer is much higher.
Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for mesothelioma, while surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy are the typical lung cancer treatments. Your mesothelioma and lung cancer stage and type affect your treatment methods. If your mesothelioma is more advanced, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove as many tumors as possible, even though they can’t remove them all. Regardless of your doctor’s recommendations, your course of treatment is your decision, and you are always free to ask as many mesothelioma questions as you can. You can say no or ask to try something different at any point.
2. What is the Life Expectancy with Mesothelioma?
After being diagnosed with mesothelioma, the life expectancy ranges from 1-2 years with treatment. Many factors affect this timeline, including mesothelioma type, stage, and health. Without treatment, life expectancy decreases to about six months.
Mesothelioma is also slower yet more aggressive and has no cure. Most doctors will base your mesothelioma treatments on the stage and location of the cancer. Doctors typically recommend surgery at early cancer stages. The asbestos fibers lodged into the lining of the lungs make it difficult to treat advanced stages of mesothelioma.
Each person’s body reacts to treatments differently, so try not to compare your mesothelioma symptoms and progress to anyone else’s. Mesothelioma has a high mortality rate and a late diagnosis window. This makes fighting mesothelioma a long, unfair rollercoaster that is taken case by case. We recommend asking as many questions about mesothelioma as possible and openly talking to your doctor and discussing your life expectancy and treatment options with them. Regardless of the news, this conversation is difficult, but it is easier to cope when you understand what you are up against.
3. Is Mesothelioma the Deadliest Cancer Ever?
Although mesothelioma is not the deadliest cancer, the likelihood of beating it is low. Mesothelioma has a 5-year survival rate of 11.5%, which makes it aggressive and fatal.
Treating mesothelioma is difficult because it typically doesn’t grow as a single tumor. It spreads throughout the body along nearby surfaces, nerves, and blood vessels. This makes it even harder to remove the cancer altogether.
Since mesothelioma is rare, few clinical trials and research have been done. Luckily, the Mayo Clinic is conducting tests and working hard to research and find new treatment methods. However, this does take time, and many doctors need more experience treating and diagnosing mesothelioma. Due to these limitations, doctors themselves have questions about mesothelioma and often refer patients to specialists.
The easiest way to prevent a mesothelioma diagnosis is to avoid asbestos exposure and wear protective gear when handling it. If you suspect your house, buildings around you, or any products you use contain asbestos, have a professional check.
4. What Are 5 Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Questions about mesothelioma Signs and symptoms depend on the type of mesothelioma that patients are diagnosed with. The two most common types of mesothelioma are pleural, which affects the tissue around the lungs, and peritoneal, which affects tissue in the abdomen. Pericardial and tunica vaginalis (TV) are other forms of mesothelioma. The five most common pleural mesothelioma symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Lumps around your chest
- Weight loss
The five most common peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Weight loss
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor. Most doctors will do physical exams and check for unusual lumps or signs. They may also do imaging scans like X-rays and CT scans to look for abnormalities.
5. Can I Be Compensated for My Mesothelioma Diagnosis?
Facing a mesothelioma diagnosis is emotionally challenging, and we understand the fear and uncertainty you may be experiencing. You may be eligible for financial compensation settlements if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure often occurs unknowingly in workplace settings, making victims eligible for legal claims against negligent corporations.
Our team is dedicated to providing you with the knowledge and resources to explore your options for compensation. We want to empower you with the necessary questions about mesothelioma to ask a specialist, including inquiries about potential causes and compensation. Understanding your rights and legal options is essential during this difficult time, and we are here to offer legal support and guidance throughout the process. You don’t have to face this alone; let us help you seek the compensation you deserve.