Since the late 1990’s into the early 2000’s mesothelioma Centers of Excellence have been in existence. The centers offer experts in mesothelioma from many different disciplines. Since mesothelioma is a rare disease it is recommended that once diagnosed you or your loved one seek an opinion with the experts at one of the centers across the country.
Receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma is life altering physically and emotionally. Recently I have been speaking with patients and seeing posts from patients and the one common denominator is that they have hope. Many people have come from a place where they have been told there is nothing to offer. The patients and families are told to get their affairs in order. There are physicians who still believe there is no hope for mesothelioma patients, some have very limited experience with mesothelioma patients. Hope is not in the equation.
The advantages of going to a mesothelioma center include possible treatment options. Recently I saw a patient who was deemed inoperable twice by two different physicians, and now is having a treatment plan formulated by his team, which will possibly include immunotherapy. He continues to have hope on his journey. Another patient who was inoperable 2 years ago is going to her native country for a visit, a visit that she has put off for 2 years due to her illness. Patients are pushing forward and not giving up despite what they had been initially told. There is no cure for mesothelioma, patients continue to die from this disease, but there are options to improve quality of life and physical symptoms.
Getting to a mesothelioma center, can be expensive. Some centers offer assistance and there are resources available to help defray the cost. A mesothelioma center is different from your local doctor’s or oncologist office. The center includes a team of professionals including surgeons, oncologists, pulmonologists, research doctors, radiologists, nurses, social workers and patient advocates. These professionals collaborate with each other on each case. Years of education and experience is the heart of the mesothelioma center. The professionals have a plan for each patient, based on the individuals stage of disease, functional status and overall health.
If you or your loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma strongly consider going to a mesothelioma center. Your options might be different than you think!