Questions for Your Doctor

What Questions Should You Ask Your Doctor?

The shock of learning that you may have mesothelioma will almost immediately trigger a number of questions from you and your family members. Most of these questions for your doctor will focus on treatment, prognosis, quality of life and the diagnosis itself. Your oncologist should be able to answer all your medical questions, and you need to remember that there are no “dumb questions.”

Here is a list of questions for your doctor:

    Mesothelioma is a rare cancer and, since it is rare, there are not many doctors who specialize in treating this disease. This is your life and if you do not feel comfortable with the experience of your doctor, then do not hesitate to search for a mesothelioma specialist. Mesothelioma Advocate can help you find a mesothelioma specialist in your area.

    Mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer caused by asbestos. The four types of mesothelioma are pleural, pericardial, peritoneal and testicular. We always recommend that you get a second opinion on your diagnosis.

    Mesothelioma can take many decades to show any type of symptoms. Since the latency period is so long for mesothelioma, the cancer normally is not caught until Stage III or Stage IV. If you are able to catch your mesothelioma in Stage I or II, then your treatment options are more diverse.

    Generally, patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have a life span of one year or less. However, new treatment options have improved survival rates for many patients. There are several factors that determine the prognosis of an individual who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, including age, overall health, stage of cancer, type of cancer, type of cancer cell and gender.

    A physician cannot give you an exact life expectancy timeframe, and a prognosis may not even provide a patient with a realistic survival outlook. A prognosis is good for allowing you and your loved ones to understand mesothelioma and what you need to do in order to plan properly.

    If you are able to catch mesothelioma in Stage I or Stage II, then you will have more treatment options than if your mesothelioma is diagnosed in Stage III or Stage IV. As with all types of cancer, every patient’s treatment options can differ and there are factors that determine the best treatment options. These factors include the cancer stage, type of mesothelioma, type of mesothelioma cell, age of patient, overall health, gender and medical history.

    Combining different types of treatment options has shown to provide the best results. By combining surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, mesothelioma specialists have been able to greatly improve the prognosis of mesothelioma patients, although this may not be an option for all mesothelioma patients due to the factors listed above.

    Not all mesothelioma patients will have the same experience. There are a number of factors that will determine your quality of life. These factors include the stage of your cancer, the treatment options available, your age, your overall health, gender and medical history. Mesothelioma patients may experience pain, discomfort, weakness and lethargy. Treatments may bring their own issues. Surgery brings the risk of infection, pain and recovery time. Chemotherapy can make you feel nauseous and weak. Radiation can cause fatigue and nausea.

    Your treatment will determine much of how your lifestyle will be affected. Many patients can continue to work and have normal everyday lives, but this can be affected by the symptoms from mesothelioma and your treatment options.

    Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos used in materials created by corporations. It has been shown that these corporations knew the risk of asbestos exposure, but still chose profits over your safety. These corporations have placed billions of dollars into a mesothelioma fund to pay out to mesothelioma victims due to corporate negligence. Mesothelioma law firms normally take mesothelioma lawsuits on a contingency basis, which means you pay no money until you collect from a verdict.