While any serious medical diagnosis can be bad news, being diagnosed with a terminal illness like mesothelioma, which cannot be totally cured, can be devastating news. Mesothelioma is a form of malignant cancer that may develop after asbestos exposure.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with mesothelioma, then this must be a traumatic and intimidating time. However, while you may try to absorb all the emotions at once, it would help to seek answers to some important questions about the diagnosis. Below are some questions you should ask your doctor:
How did I get mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure. Unfortunately, this type of cancer can take anywhere between 20 to 50 years to develop. What’s more, even if you didn’t work in an asbestos-related industry but a loved one did, you can still get mesothelioma through secondhand exposure.
What type do I have?
After the diagnosis, you should also ask your doctor about the type of mesothelioma you have. There are basically three types of mesothelioma: pleural, pericardial and peritoneal. However, sometimes mesothelioma can develop in the testicles, although this happens very rarely.
What stage is my cancer?
Depending on the results of the exams, biopsies and imaging tests, your doctor may be able to determine how far the cancer has spread. However, sometimes the disease may not be diagnosed until an advanced stage like Stage III or IV.
Are there treatment options?
After your doctor has diagnosed and staged cancer, they will discuss the available treatment options with you. Depending on the stage and the location of cancer, your doctor may recommend surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend a combination of these treatments.
Cancer treatment can be expensive and may take a toll on you and your family. However, if you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you may be eligible for compensation. This may help you afford the best treatment possible.