It is estimated that approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Because the latency period (the period of time between exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma) is long, people who were exposed to asbestos even decades ago are currently developing the disease. Another variable that is extremely important to a patients out look is his or her overall health at the time of diagnosis. Generally the healthier a patient is, the better he or she will react to cancer treatments, and the greater the chances of longer survival. It may take some time for the diagnosis to be made.
A mesothelioma patient is an individual who has been exposed to toxic asbestos fibers in the last fifty years. Workers in the factory, construction, custodial, automotive, railroad, and shipyard industries are all at risk for developing mesothelioma.
As a mesothelioma patient, you will confront medical costs and related financial demands in addition to the emotional and physical problems of having a serious disease. Diagnosing and treating mesothelioma is expensive. There are a number of changes that are expected to occur in a mesothelioma patient. A lung transplant is a possible treatment option for a mesothelioma patient whose respiratory health has deteriorated to a level at which doctors predict that the patient will not live long without a healthy replacement lung. However, lung transplant surgery is a major undertaking.
Some doctors and medical centers have extensive experience with treating mesothelioma patients. Some cancer centers have experience with all types of cancer. Most often, the hospice care is provided to a mesothelioma patient at his or her home, allowing patients to spend their last days in the comfort of their homes their families present.
For the caregiver of a mesothelioma patient, life will change drastically. This person will not only work tirelessly to physically tend to the mesothelioma sufferer, but will also be involved in numerous decisions about this person and their disease. Most reports indicate that the average age of a mesothelioma patient is 60.
There are groups available to support loved ones of mesothelioma patients. Consult with your doctor to find the best support groups for you and your loved ones.