When a Pennsylvania doctor officially diagnosed your current adverse health condition as mesothelioma, you may have felt like the earth dropped out from beneath your feet. This would be an understandable reaction, especially if you were already aware that this is an incurable cancer. You hopefully have a strong support system in place, as you come to terms with your diagnosis and move forward in life.
One of your priorities at this time may be getting the best care available to help you obtain the highest quality of life possible. Choosing a doctor experienced in treating patients with your disease is likely at the top of your list of things to do. There are several pertinent questions you can ask the doctors you interview to help you determine who might be able to best provide for your needs.
You are essentially hiring a doctor
Choosing a medical care provider to treat your terminal illness is an intensely personal matter. Your initial choice is not set in stone, however, because if you find that a particular physician is not a good fit for you, you can always make a change at any time. The following information gives examples of things you’ll want to know about a doctor when determining where to seek care:
- One of the first things you’ll want to know is whether there has been official confirmation of the initial diagnosis.
- Your doctor should provide the pathology reports, to inform you as to whether or not your tests received a second opinion.
- Not every treatment is suitable for every patient.
- You do not simply have to accept a doctor’s recommendation without questioning why he or she is prescribing a particular line of care.
- You can ask questions regarding survival rates.
- You may also want to ask a doctor how many mesothelioma patients he or she has treated and what the average survival rate for those patients was in conjunction with the care he or she provided.
Mesothelioma is often difficult to diagnose because your body likely carried the condition for many years before you realized you were ill. That’s because it is a slow-developing disease that lingers in the body, long before symptoms appear. Where and how you contracted the illness is another topic of concern.
Workers can reach out for support
Perhaps you worked on a railroad or are married to someone who did. Pittsburgh factory workers, shipyard employees and textile workers are also at high risk for mesothelioma injury due to asbestos exposure. Sadly, many employers were aware that their workers were at risk and did not tell them. If you believe your employer was negligent, you may want to learn more about the litigation process that many other mesothelioma victims in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have pursued.