Mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive cancers in the world. This characteristic is why mesothelioma carries such a poor prognosis for long-term survival: It spreads fast, and not many treatments can slow it down.
With the right combination of therapies, you can outlive the statistics and extend your life by years. There are many mesothelioma survivor stories — ones of people just like you beating their prognosis — and you could be the next one.
At Mesothelioma Guide, our mission is to connect mesothelioma patients to treatment options. We can help you find specialists and cancer centers known worldwide for helping people with this cancer. Our patient advocate team also knows how to improve your daily lifestyle and enhance the effectiveness of treatment.
In summary, our goal is to help people like yourself live well beyond your prognosis. We want all mesothelioma patients to become mesothelioma survivors.
Accomplishing this feat starts with knowing everything about mesothelioma treatment. Below are five tips for finding life-saving medical care.
Tip #1: Research Your Mesothelioma Treatment Options
The first step to finding mesothelioma treatment is knowing the most effective therapies available to you. Even though there aren’t many options, there’s still a lot of information to unpack.
We can give you an introduction to each. The top mesothelioma treatment options are:
Not all mesothelioma patients undergo the same surgeries or receive identical chemotherapy treatment. Your treatment depends on which type of mesothelioma you have. The two most common are pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma originates in the lining between your chest wall and lung cavity. Peritoneal mesothelioma forms in the lining around your abdominal cavity. Each disease has unique operations that help remove the tumors from your body.
The two surgeries for pleural mesothelioma are extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy with decortication. The surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreduction with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy. You can read more about each operation by clicking the links above.
Tip #2: Meet With a Mesothelioma Specialist
Remember when we said this disease is aggressive? That’s one of mesothelioma’s most noteworthy characteristics. The other? This disease is one of the rarest known cancers.
Approximately 3,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma. By comparison, each year:
- More than 228,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer
- Around 79,000 Americans are diagnosed with brain cancer
- Approximately 21,700 Americans are diagnosed with ovarian cancer
- Four times as many Americans are diagnosed with cancer in the throat, which is also considered rare
The rarity of mesothelioma is why you need the experience of a specialist. We suggest not relying on a general-practice doctor or your primary physician. They likely haven’t treated someone with mesothelioma, and they probably won’t know which doctors to refer.
Go to the doctors who have helped hundreds — for some, thousands — of patients with this cancer. They’ll have you undergo the appropriate testing and will know the best way to treat your specific diagnosis. Use our Doctor Match program to get started.
Tip #3: Practice Healthy Habits
If your goal is to receive mesothelioma treatment, then you need to alter your lifestyle. Look to improve everything, from your diet to how often you exercise.
We recently published diet tips for mesothelioma patients. To summarize, focus on high-protein, potassium-rich foods. These substances can improve your body’s strength, which will help you endure surgery and chemotherapy.
You should also practice eating smaller meals at a higher frequency than usual. Chemotherapy can make you feel nauseous and tired. You likely won’t be hungry enough for three big meals every day.
We suggest preparing before you begin treatment. Eating five, six or seven small meals a day keeps your nutrient intake consistent and avoids the daunting task of a large meal. This method is a way to maintain your body weight.
Lastly, exercise as much as possible. This will help build up your muscle mass and increase your stamina. Both are assets for people set to have surgery or receive chemotherapy.
Tip #4: Enroll in a Mesothelioma Clinical Trial
Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the three primary mesothelioma treatment options. They’re the staples of the prestigious mesothelioma programs at cancer centers around the country.
While these three are usually effective therapies, there are other treatment options currently in testing. They are not widely used at cancer centers, but they’ve shown promise and could soon be standard forms of care. The top emerging mesothelioma treatment options include:
Enrolling in a mesothelioma clinical trial is the best way to access these therapies. Many ongoing studies are investigating whether any of these options could lead to a long-term mesothelioma cure. We can help you enroll in a clinical trial, which will get you access to potentially life-saving treatment and improve the options for future mesothelioma victims.
Tip #5: Talk With a Medical Expert
By now, you’re probably ready to start your mesothelioma treatment journey. You’ve researched the different therapies, looked up some nearby cancer centers and planned a healthier lifestyle to fight your diagnosis. You might even be interested in joining a mesothelioma clinical trial.
The next and last tip is to continue using Mesothelioma Guide as a resource. Our team is dedicated to helping people just like you, and one of our patient advocates is a registered nurse and mesothelioma expert. Her name is Jenna Campagna, and she’s the No. 1 resource for people with mesothelioma.
Jenna has connections with some of the top mesothelioma doctors and hospitals in the country, and she can help you in the same way she has helped so many others. Once you’re ready, please contact her to learn what to do next. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns or requests for help.
Show Sources & Author
- Key Statistics for Ovarian Cancer. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from:
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed: 04/27/2020.
- Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer: Statistics. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Retrieved from:
https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/laryngeal-and-hypopharyngeal-cancer/statistics. Accessed: 04/27/2020.
- Lung Cancer Statistics. Lungevity. Retrieved from:
https://lungevity.org/for-supporters-advocates/lung-cancer-statistics. Accessed: 04/27/2020.
- Brain Tumor Facts & Figures, May 2018: Incidence, Mortality, and Survival in 2018. National Brain Tumor Society. Retrieved from:
https://blog.braintumor.org/brain-tumor-facts-figures-may-2018-incidence-mortality-and-survival-in-2018/. Accessed: 04/27/2020.