By, Staff Writer, Crystal S. Kauffman
What is Mesothelioma?
This form of cancer is known as “the asbestos cancer”, because victims get it after prolonged exposure to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Asbestos fibers are inhaled and attack the mesothelioma, a protective membrane layer that covers internal organs. Most frequently if affects the lungs, however, it can also affect the abdomen and heart. Asbestos is banned in some countries, but remains legal in the United States and Canada. While it’s not used as frequently, it can still be found in products.
This type of cancer can take anywhere from 10 years to 60 years to present any symptoms, so it is difficult to detect quickly. Unfortunately the prognosis for mesothelioma is about a one year life expectancy. When mesothelioma is caught early on, it increases the patient’s chance of a longer survival prognosis.
A patient is not only physically dealing with the effects of treating this type of cancer, but they also endure mental stress as well. This emotional and physical stress can be devastating to the patient and their entire family. It is important for caregivers to be their to support their loved one, but also be sure to take care of themselves too. Caregiving can be an extremely stressful and difficult job, but can do so much to help the patient.
Most patients will require cancer treatment, which means the patient will have different effects from the type of treatment they have received. Some patients require chemotherapy and some require radiation as well, while others may need surgery. There are also newer treatments because of the innovations to cancer research. Immunotherapy is a growing option, as it uses parts of the immune system to fight diseases. Patients are able to use immunotherapy options by signing up for clinical trials.
Living with Mesothelioma
There are several types of literature, which has been written online and offline to help patients and their families. The patients who living with mesotheliomas’ touch will need emotional, spiritual, and other forms of support during their journey. So with that said, take time to make memories and laugh with the patient as they endure treatment. Living with mesothelioma is a long and painful journey for a patient and their families, but it is worth every single second that is gained through treatment.
For more information on mesothelioma cancer, be sure to read here .
©Crystal Kauffman, 2016