Mesothelioma is often a highly aggressive and difficult to treat cancer, which is why it is so important to find the best available care. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’ll want to begin researching mesothelioma treatment centers as soon as possible.
Knowing what to ask and how to evaluate whether or not a particular cancer center or clinic is right for you can be a difficult task. Every case of mesothelioma is unique and each patient will have a different set of needs when it comes to choosing and administering a course of treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to locate a specialized oncologist who will take the time to explain available options and accompany the patient through every phase of his or her treatment.
Look for physicians who are actively involved in research, which generally signals that they are up to date with the latest treatment protocols. Partnering with doctors and medical professionals who are already known experts in their field is an excellent way to increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
Doctors will generally conduct a range of physical exams, health history analyses, and diagnostic evaluations in an effort to better understand the nature of the disease and how far it has advanced. These exams are likely to include a biopsy, fluid test, PET scan, CT scan, and/or MRI. These exams will then likely be repeated throughout a patient’s course of treatment in order to determine how the mesothelioma responds to particular therapies. However, a thorough and accurate diagnosis is the first step in developing an effective treatment plan.
Medical professionals will rely heavily on these tests to determine each patient’s individualized treatment plan. However, mesothelioma patients, as with all cancer patients, should always seek multiple opinions before deciding upon a course of treatment. Though two doctors may be experts in their fields, it is unlikely that all will prescribe the same treatment plan.
If a patient is interested in participating in experimental mesothelioma treatments or clinical trials, ask medical staff for advice and conduct research in advance to determine which clinics and centers are currently conducting studies.
Because mesothelioma can be a highly unpredictable and aggressive disease, it’s critical that patients gather a team of specialized oncologists and medical professionals with experience in treating patients with similar conditions. This medical team will be dedicated to curing the cancer, as well as managing side effects and symptoms resulting from the disease as well as from the treatment.
It is not uncommon for mesothelioma patients to receive nutrition therapy, naturopathic therapy, oncology rehabilitation, survivorship support, pain management, mind-body medicine, and spiritual support. Whenever possible, it is helpful to have as many of these services available under the same roof – but it is most important to explore the range of treatment services available to mesothelioma patients.
As much as possible, attempt to evaluate how attentive the medical staff is to patients’ needs. Certain centers will be outfitted with the latest medical equipment, designed to make scans and tests as comfortable for patients as possible. Receiving chemotherapy and radiation can be lengthy procedures, and it is surprising just how important small details become when they serve to ease a patient’s discomfort.
Chances are you will find that the majority of the major mesothelioma treatment centers and clinics in the United States are equipped with the latest equipment and treatment options available.
As with any form of cancer, early detection can significantly improve the outcome. In the case of mesothelioma, because the disease may not exhibit any symptoms for several decades at a time, early detection can be a challenge. While no cure for mesothelioma currently exists, working with the right oncologist specialists and executing an appropriate treatment plan can greatly improve the quality of life and chance of survival for mesothelioma patients.
Numerous online databases are available to help patients find a quality treatment center in their area. These resources can significantly reduce the headaches and frustration involved in researching specialists. Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience, but researching the available options and partnering with a skilled medical team will reveal the steps you can take on the path to recovery.