Cancer of any sort is a frightening diagnosis. When it is rare cancer such as mesothelioma it can be even more so. Fortunately, there has been a lot of research done and there are survivors, including a man who has survived for twenty years after diagnosis. Mesothelioma care is about both the patient and the caregiver.
The mesothelium is the lining between the chest and internal organs such as the lungs. Mesothelioma is not lung cancer, although it can affect the lungs and the heart. The purpose of this layer is to cushion the organs.
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Mesothelioma is like many cancers in some ways. Being rare, it makes some parts of caring for a patient with it more important.
Rare diseases of all sorts tend to be orphans in the pharmaceutical world, meaning that fewer studies have been done and fewer disease-specific drugs have been made.
This puts support at the top of the list for those who are coping with it. Support includes many things, and counseling is crucial. Patients need to connect with others going through the same things, facing the same fears, pain and possible death.
These groups need to be moderated by someone trained to help bring information and comfort to the group members. Help with transportation may also be required. This doesn’t just mean the myriad doctor’s appointments a cancer diagnosis brings.
Unless a regional medical center is nearby, it may be necessary to travel one or more hours for treatment, and that may be on a daily basis. Pain, weakness and medication can render the patient unable to drive.
In today’s world, many patients have relatives with full-time jobs. It would be difficult for everyone involved if those relatives were to take leave from their jobs in order to care for the patient.
That means outside help may need to be arranged. This is especially true if/when the cancer progresses to a terminal state. Hospice care is available in many countries to help with this issue. There are also agencies that specialize in taking care of patients.
Some governments, either local, state or national, provide this care free of cost. They can be full time, part-time or twenty-four/seven.
The person in charge of the care and arranging care also needs help. Self-care is vital to being able to handle all of the difficulties a mesothelioma diagnosis comes with.
Something as simple as getting out of the house to do grocery shopping is hard, but it needs to be seen to.