MEET GUEST BLOGGER Faith Franz. Faith is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care. So without further ado, Faith’s article on “Where to Turn for Treatment Help if You Have Mesothelioma”.
When mesothelioma patients are first diagnosed with their cancer, they often confer with their general practitioner about what types of treatment to pursue. However, general practitioners are not usually familiar with treating diseases that relates to asbestos, so they will most commonly provide patients with information or referrals to mesothelioma specialists.
The first doctor that a mesothelioma patient should reach out to for assistance is their primary oncologist. The oncologist often serves as the head of the patient’s treatment team, and they are best able to coordinate the various branches of treatment.
An oncologist can provide referrals to other specialists who can discuss additional treatment options with the patient. These doctors may include:
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation therapists
Patients may also reach out to holistic medical practitioners for treatment. These doctors can practice a number of therapies, including homeopathy, acupuncture or massage.
Mesothelioma patients may also turn to a nutritionist for help constructing a diet that provides them with extra energy and vitamins during treatment.
Picking a Physician
Although there are a number of doctors who mesothelioma patients can turn to for treatment, not all doctors are equally equipped to handle the rare cancer. Across the United States, several doctors have emerged as leading mesothelioma specialists. David Sugarbaker, M.D., Robert Cameron, M.D., and Harvey Pass, M.D., are among the nation’s leading mesothelioma experts.
Several hospitals have also emerged as national leaders for mesothelioma treatment. These include Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the University of Chicago.
Because of the overwhelming nature of choosing a treatment plan, mesothelioma patients may be unsure of where to start in their search for health care. The Mesothelioma Center offers a free educational packet discussing the various types of treatment, and their Doctor Match Service can also connect patients with a leading doctor in their area.
Mesothelioma patients may also consider turning to support groups to help each other through treatment. Although information shared within a support group should never be regarded as medical advice, patients can benefit from hearing other patients’ testimonials. Support groups allow patients to help each other understand the experience that comes with a certain form of treatment and share recommendations for how to cope.
Read more about the wide variety of available cancer support services.