One of the most natural reactions to getting a mesothelioma diagnosis is to be afraid. Cancer is, however, not a death sentence. The first step is to clear your mind and take a deep breath. There are many resources online that you can read and specialists who are experts in this disease. Moreover, there are support groups you can get in touch with and help you with your journey.
The biggest danger that threatens your recovery is misinformation. Granted, there are many traditional medicine practices that have been proven to be effective in some conditions, but it is not proven to be as effective as procedures that have already been tested and checked by scientists and doctors. There are many people online who are promoting unproven treatments that might not treat your cancer. Worse, they might aggravate the problem because you are not getting the treatment you need.
The best thing to do is to get the right information from trusted sources. Fortunately, there are plenty of mesothelioma support groups that compile all that you need to know about this condition. If you have been recently diagnosed, you can get your mesothelioma guide from the Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization here.
After the diagnosis, it is best to take your time in familiarizing yourself with the condition and read about it slowly, giving yourself some period to digest it. Although mesothelioma is a kind of cancer, there are many different types of this condition and therefore, different outcomes and treatments. Moreover, one person’s journey with this disease differs with someone else’s.
The first thing that your doctor will talk to you about your condition is the kind of mesothelioma you have. This disease can affect various parts of your body, and this is how your type is determined. Most of the cases consist of tumors in the lungs, called pleural mesothelioma. Because of the many cases out there, it is also the most studied and the one with different treatments available. At the same time, it also has the best survival rates.
Another important piece of information is the stage. This determines how much of the cancer cells have spread in your body and identifying the stage also helps the doctor figure out the best course of treatment for you. Stages of mesothelioma have been based on pleural mesothelioma because it is the most common type out there.
Stage 1 generally refers to cases where cancer has not yet affected the lung and is generally found in on the chest wall lining, chest cavity lining, and/or the diaphragm. On the other hand, Stage 2 refers to instances where the cancer has metastasized. In this stage, the cancer is only found in the chest or the esophagus.
Stage 3 is normally when cancer has spread to the abdomen lining or the lymph nodes outside your chest. Lastly, Stage 4 means cancer has been found in your bloodstream and has spread further to other organs.
Unfortunately, many patients do not realize that the symptoms they experience are of mesothelioma. This means many of the cases diagnosed are already in the latter stages. However, this does not mean that doctors cannot do anything to remove the tumor and prevent its spread. All the information on common treatments can be found in your guide, as well as when they are most effective. This allows you to know a little bit about the approaches your doctor will propose to you during your next consultations.
While you might read about some little-known treatment or even a diet that promises to be effective in mesothelioma. This type of cancer tends to be aggressive and not going for treatment might lead to cancer spreading to other parts of your body and becoming worse. Moreover, you should always discuss with your doctor if you are looking into alternative therapies that might actually hamper your treatment. If you are curious whether any therapy has been tested and proven successful, you can ask your doctor or read about it, making sure to check official medical sites.
Do not gamble your life on a therapy that has no scientific basis. Although there are clinical trials out there where you can participate in, these trials are still more promising due to their success in animal tests. Mesothelioma does not mean a death sentence but you and your doctor have to work quickly in coming up with a successful treatment.