Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is a crushing experience. It is very understandable that you and your family members would feel devastated and overwhelmed. But as with any overwhelming task one of the best ways to confront it is by breaking it down into smaller more manageable pieces. Perhaps this might be a good way to try to cope with your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Learn all you can about it. Becoming informed about your mesothelioma diagnosis can help you and your family members get through initial feelings of denial or shock. It can soothe your fears, refocus your attention on staying well and help you learn your medical and legal options.
Because a mesothelioma diagnosis is beyond the experience of most doctors, your doctor will most likely refer you to a major medical center near you where there are specialists who regularly work with mesothelioma patients. Or you may be referred to local specialists with an office in your town who have multiple offices in the region and are affiliated with a nearby hospital.
What specialists you see will depend on the stage of your mesothelioma diagnosis and what has been determined as your best treatment options.
Here is a list from the America Cancer Society of the different types of doctors you may be referred to for treatment of your mesothelioma:
- A thoracic surgeon: a doctor who treats diseases of the lungs and chest with surgery.
- A surgical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with surgery.
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy.
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy.
- A pulmonologist: a doctor who specializes in medical treatment of diseases of the lungs.
Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, and other health professionals.