It is an unfortunate truth that in the United States and around the world, patients with malignant mesothelioma do not all receive the same level of care. There have been multiple studies documenting the differences and their causes. Some have to do with patients’ age or proximity to state-of-the-art cancer centers. Some have to do with the individual patient’s wishes regarding submitting to invasive or intrusive treatments. Some have to do with primary physicians’ familiarity with the rare and fatal form of cancer. One thing that has become clear is that patients treated using a multidisciplinary approach are generally offered many more options that extend survival and enhance their quality of life. A recent Italian study has also shown that they have a greater chance of being offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.
Multidisciplinary Care Offers Mesothelioma Patients More Options
Multidisciplinary care for mesothelioma provides a more holistic approach for patients, and exposes them to a wider range of healthcare practitioners. The team’s makeup can vary from facility to facility, but in most cases includes the patient’s oncologist, oncology nurses, radiation oncologists, palliative specialists, social workers, and more.
Clinical Trial Access Just One Benefit Mesothelioma Patients Receive from Holistic Approach
The above-referenced study, which was conducted by researchers at Humanitas Gavazzeni Hospital in Bergamo, Italy, examined the impact that a multidisciplinary approach has on patients, from the time that they are initially diagnosed through the course of their treatment. One of the most important benefits that they found was that patients have much higher likelihood of being offered admission to clinical trials for cutting-edge treatments than do those whose cases are only managed by individual physicians.
In addition to entry to clinical trials, mesothelioma patients treated in a multidisciplinary care model are also far more likely to have access to palliative care that improves their quality of life and decreases suffering from pain, shortness of breath, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and need information on getting specialized care for your condition, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.