If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’ll want to know what kind you have, and how advanced is your disease. Mesothelioma stages range from Stage I through Stage IV. It may have spread to other sites. Your options depend upon the answers to those questions. Some other questions you will want to ask are:
What treatment do you recommend for me?
Treatment for mesothelioma in Stage I may involve surgically removing the tumor and adjacent tissue. Treatment for later stages can range from radiation and chemotherapy to clinical trials. Your doctor knows how to diagnose the stage of your disease and get you treatment with the most potential to succeed. Treatment may be palliative or curative. Palliative relieves pain and discomfort, and curative removes the tumor and cancer cells preventing further growth of that source of cells.
Mesothelioma and asbestos fibers lodged in the mesothelium can cause irritation, which causes inflammation and fluid buildup in the space between the mesothelial layers. Treatment of these complications involves inserting a needle or small tube to drain the fluid from that space.
Ask your doctor to explain each option, how each relates to the different mesothelioma stages, and why he recommends any specific treatment.
Are there any side effects, complications or other risks to your recommended treatment?
Most treatments will impose on you in one way or another. By knowing what you can expect, you can prepare ahead of time for assistance, recovery, transportation, or other accommodation. If you know that your treatment might cause complications you can plan ahead and make informed decisions about which treatments you think you can best tolerate.
Will the mesothelioma be gone permanently?
The answer to this depends upon the type, stage and location of the tumor. It is always difficult to be sure that the cancer hasn’t metastasized to other parts of the body. Where treatment can’t guarantee a cure, there have been promising results that have extended many patients’ lives with lengthy remissions.
What is my prognosis?
The probability of removing or destroying all of the mesothelioma cancer cells depends upon the stage of your disease and your overall health, and whether there has been ay metastasis. Your doctor’s answer is based upon a complete exam and the outcomes of several tests.
How should I prepare for treatment?
The answer to this will, of course, depend upon the treatment you undergo. Your doctor will provide information specific to your care plan to help you prepare. If you have a family member or friend who can care for you during your recovery from treatment, try to involve them in your care plan as soon as possible. Have them come to at least one doctor appointment so they can ask questions that concern them. The more they understand about your disease, treatment and needs, the easier it will be.
Mesothelioma can have a devastating impact on your family as it has on your health. You may be entitled to a settlement that can ease the burden on all of you. Please contact Brown | Gould | Kiely, LLP, in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C.