Veterans with Mesothelioma Benefit from Phone Consulting Service
According to a recent study, a national telephone consulting service specifically designed to assist U.S. military veterans in finding the most appropriate medical care has yielded big benefits, providing those who are suffering from mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer, with much improved treatment options and better outcomes.
The study, which was published in The Journal of Surgical Research, found that the new service facilitated veterans traveling to Boston and being provided with access to much improved diagnosis and treatment protocols, and particularly with access to surgeons who could offer them state-of-the-art surgical techniques for the treatment of their condition.
The study was conducted as a follow-up on the 2011 creation of the service by the Veterans Administration’s Boston Healthcare System. The VA has a special interest in providing access to mesothelioma care, as roughly thirty percent of those diagnosed with the rare and always fatal form of cancer served in the U.S. military. This is because the Armed Forces was one of the nation’s biggest consumers of asbestos-containing materials prior to the material being identified as a carcinogen in the 1970s.
The researchers set out to determine whether the service was making a positive change in the treatment that the veterans were receiving. What it determined was that roughly 75% of those who called in had done so because they heard about the service on the internet rather than through their healthcare provider. They also found that the consulting service generally got the veterans in to see a healthcare provider for a face-to-face evaluation within two weeks of their initial phone call, during which time a great deal of information gathering was facilitated. This information provided specific patient data and diagnoses, determining which patients were not candidates for mesothelioma surgery and scheduling those who were for appointments in Boston.
Of those 38 patients who were invited in for evaluation the average distance traveled was almost 1,000 miles, and in 71% of the cases their treatment regimens were changed based upon the guidelines set out by the International Mesothelioma Interest Group. Twenty one had originally been treated using strictly chemotherapy and four were only being treated palliatively: another four were receiving multi-modality therapy. The Boston doctors diagnosed four patients with entirely different conditions and put 29 of them on combination therapies. What was most significant in the study’s outcome was that the Veterans Administration healthcare system was able to provide a high standard of treatment to patients using the system, getting the patients to the elite care that they needed.
For veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma, knowing that they have access to innovative treatment regimens means that they may be able to extend their survival and quality of life with care provided and paid for by the VA. They may also be able to get compensation from the contractors and suppliers that provided the military with the asbestos-containing materials that caused their illness. For more information about your rights, contact Danziger & De Llano Legal Advocates today at 1-800-692-8608, or visit our website, https://mesothelioma.net/mesothelioma-attorneys/
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