Mesothelioma is a nasty form of cancer, one that sadly affects countless individuals around the world every year. It’s caused by exposure to asbestos, which was a commonly used insulation material in buildings prior to its dangers being exposed. This form of cancer, which affects the lungs but is not considered lung cancer, is especially aggressive, and can often be difficult to diagnose. This is problematic, because an early diagnosis of mesothelioma can often improve a patient’s life expectancy, which generally falls between nine months and two years.
One way that doctors are attempting to diagnose mesothelioma in patients more rapidly is by using e-consults. It’s probably a term that you’ve heard a little bit more about lately, and you may have some questions about it. We thought we’d take the time to explore the topic, and also to share some advice on what steps you should take in the event that you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another form of cancer.
What E-Consults Are And How They’re Helping
In today’s world, you might expect that an e-consult is a way for you to consult with a doctor through the Internet. This is not the case. An e-consult is actually a way for your primary care provider to consult with a specialist in any given medical field. This consultation is handled through the Internet, with the primary care provider able to share a patient’s medical records and information with a specialist, who may be better equipped to ascertain what’s wrong with the patient.
Given the complexities of diagnosing a rare form of cancer like mesothelioma, this has a number of benefits. For patients, e-consults allow for results and diagnoses to be arrived at more quickly, facilitating the more immediate administration of treatment. Additionally, e-consults relieve the need for a patient to travel excessively to see specialists for his or herself. For doctors, e-consults allow for greater access to medical expertise and for more accurate diagnoses, which improves the quality of the care they’re administering overall. Really, e-consults are a win-win.
Given that early diagnosis is key to treating mesothelioma, it’s easy to see how e-consults are assisting with proper treatment. Of course, a mesothelioma diagnosis is quite serious, and there are several steps you should take if you are so diagnosed. We explore those below.
Steps to Take Following a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
As with any other serious diagnosis, you will first want to confirm it. Given how rare mesothelioma is, you will want to consult with a specialist, who will be best able to determine that the diagnosis is correct. Provided that the diagnosis is confirmed, you’ll probably have many questions. For your own medical benefit, as well as for your mental health you should take whatever steps necessary to learn more about mesothelioma. This research should include symptoms you’re likely to experience, as well as therapies that might help to alleviate those symptoms.
With your doctor, you will want to explore the range of treatment options that are available to you. This is a delicate process, and you’ll surely want to establish a support network that can help you to make some of the difficult decisions that will be put before you. Be sure to bring as many close friends and family into the process with you as possible. They can offer you objective advice and help to pick you up when you’re down.
As you seek out and undergo treatment, know also that there are additional resources that are available to individuals who suffer from mesothelioma, including those that can help to alleviate your financial burden. Take the time to research the options available to you.