Once you bring your asbestos exposure to the attention of your doctor, you will likely undergo various medical tests such as an x-ray, CT scan and MRI. These tests have the ability to take different types of pictures of your chest cavity. These pictures give your doctor a good idea as to whether or not there is any cancerous growth within the lining of the lung, or heart. If your doctor sees a tumor or growth, they will likely perform a biopsy to take a portion of the affected area to be tested for the presence of cancer. If cancer is found, the doctor will most likely refer you to a cancer specialist for further diagnosis. The size of the tumor is the most common measure used to determine what stage the disease is in.
We have made many contacts and can refer you to some of the nations top mesothelioma doctors. There are many cancer centers around the country and doctors that specialize in treating mesothelioma. Because of the unique nature of this cancer, it is important to seek the best treatment possible. In talking with various doctors you will likely hear a lot of vocabulary that you might not be familiar with. Do not panic, rather ask as many questions as necessary in order to understand what is being discussed. Also, we provide a glossary of terms and hundreds of pages of easily read information to make this difficult time easier to cope with.
Once a diagnosis is made, it is time to choose a treatment plan. There are various treatment options and choosing the right one is crucial to ensuring the best results. If mesothelioma is caught early a doctor might recommend surgery to remove the tumor. As the severity of the disease increases, surgery can be too dangerous and less effective. Other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation become more common methods used to combat the disease. The most important thing to realize is that the disease can grow very rapidly in its later stages and various palliative care methods are used to make pain more tolerable.
In recent times, alternative treatment methods such as acupuncture, massage, meditation and others are now being used because many patients have had positive results. These methods can drastically reduce pain and put the patient in a sense of relaxation. This is important because it is much easier to make good decisions when you can think clearly and not be overcome with discomfort.
Overall, consulting your doctor and starting a treatment plan is the absolute first priority. Without knowing the facts about your condition it is impossible to make informed decisions that will improve quality of life and increase your chances of recovery. Now that you have taken the right steps, it is time to consult family members and discuss your condition, and what the future may hold.