A mesothelioma diagnosis is a very overwhelming experience. Because mesothelioma impacts approximately 2500 to 3000 new people each year it is termed an orphan disease. Orphan diseases tend to suffer from a lack of information and resources and even a lack of medical professionals with the specialized knowledge requisite to provide adequate treatment.
Knowledge is a very helpful tool to help deal with the anxiety of uncertainty that often accompanies this asbestos related cancer. Cancer.net has compiled a list of important questions that you should ask your medical team after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Questions to ask after getting a diagnosis
- What type of mesothelioma do I have?
- Where exactly is the tumor located?
- Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
- What is the stage of the cancer? What does this mean?
- What is my prognosis?
Questions to ask about choosing a treatment and managing side effects
- What treatment options are available?
- What clinical trials are available for me? Where are they located, and how do I find out more about them?
- What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
- What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the cancer, help me feel better, or both?
- Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?
- Who will be leading my overall treatment?
- What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and the long term?
- How can I keep myself as healthy as possible during treatment?
- In addition to treating my cancer, what can be done to treat my symptoms and side effects (such as pain medications or appetite stimulants)?
- How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
- Could this treatment affect my sex life? If so, how and for how long?
- Could this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?
- If I’m worried about managing the costs of cancer care, who can help me?
- What support services are available to me? To my family?
- Who should I call for questions or problems?
Questions to ask about having surgery
- What type of surgery will I have? Will lymph nodes be removed?
- How long will the operation take?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- Can you describe what my recovery from surgery will be like?
- What are the possible long-term effects of having this surgery?
- Questions to ask about having radiation therapy or chemotherapy
- What type of treatment is recommended?
- What is the goal of this treatment?
- How long will it take to give this treatment?
- What side effects can I expect during treatment?
- What are the possible long-term side effects of having this treatment?
- What can be done to relieve the side effects?
Questions to ask about planning follow-up care
- What is the chance that the cancer will come back? Should I watch for specific signs or symptoms?
- What long-term side effects or late effects are possible based on the cancer treatment I received?
- What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?
- How do I get a treatment summary and survivorship care plan to keep in my personal records?
- Who will be leading my follow-up care?
- What survivorship support services are available to me? To my family?
If your medical team doesn’t have the answer to any of these questions or can’t answer one of your other questions feel free to reach out and we can connect you with expert oncologists in the field to get you the answers you deserve.
The Paul Law Firm advocates for victims of asbestos-related diseases. If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, call the Paul Law Firm. With over 2.5 billion dollars collected for victims of asbestos exposure, we have the knowledge and the experience to fight for you. We also understand that fighting doesn’t just happen in the courtroom. It also happens in a lab where we are fighting for a cure. Check out the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America here.
Call us today at 1-855 88 LEGAL (885-3425) or contact us online to discuss your case with one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers