Some 30, 20 or even 10 years ago, the general public didn’t know much about mesothelioma. They didn’t know how it formed, or where it formed. They didn’t know how to treat it or the legal options for victims.
Even most medical professionals couldn’t differentiate this cancer from others.
Now, in 2021, awareness and knowledge of mesothelioma cancer is at a peak. The trend is going towards patient empowerment, but many of the best mesothelioma doctors believe there’s more work left to do.
We at Mesothelioma Guide dedicate our professional lives to increasing awareness of mesothelioma. We spread news about therapies, surgery options, and recent lawsuit settlements.
We spoke with some doctors, surgeons and oncologists about the advancements in public consciousness.
Dr. Wickii Vigneswaran
Dr. Wickii Vigneswaran is the Director of Thoracic Surgery at Loyola University Health System. He is one of the surgeons who believes knowledge pushed forward considerably. The advancements are from both the physician and patient sides.
“I think awareness has changed a lot in the past 20 years,” he said. “Patients are more aware. Physicians are more aware. People are interested in studying mesothelioma. … I think there is a group of people who are interested in working on mesothelioma.
“Patient awareness is also better.”
Dr. Michele Carbone
Dr. Michele Carbone is the Director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. He said the progress is limited.
“There is little knowledge about this condition right now among general doctors,” he said. “We didn’t really learn this in school. Now more people know about it but from the general physician side, it’s still not much.”
Dr. Matthew Steliga
Dr. Matthew Steliga is the Division Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Patients come to Dr. Steliga with a variety of mesothelioma knowledge. Some have done extensive research on this rare cancer, while others know very little.
“Some come to us with recurrent pleural effusions and they don’t know why,” he said. “Some come to us after they’ve had multiple doctors talk to them about mesothelioma.”
General Physician Awareness of Cancer Therapies
Immunotherapy is the therapeutic option rising in popularity. More medical oncologists and mesothelioma specialists are recommending this approach for some cases, including:
- When surgery isn’t possible
- If chemotherapy doesn’t work
- After recurrence following surgery
Even so, awareness of immunotherapy isn’t high. This is what a report in WebMD states. The article cites a survey of patients not knowing how immunotherapy works. It also found general physicians — ones not involved in cancer treatment — are using outdated survival data.
We at Mesothelioma Guide can provide updated survival data and information about the newest therapies. Our patient advocate team regularly helps patients and families make decisions regarding treatment and care. Email our registered nurse, Karen Ritter, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Sources & Author
- Many Patients, Doctors Unaware of Advancements in Cancer Care. WebMD. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20210929/patients-doctors-unaware-cancer-care?src=rss_public. Accessed: 10/14/2021.
Sources & Author