Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs in a thin layer of tissue that covers most of the body's internal organs. Find out what you can do to get treated.
- TIP: Ask about alternative treatments or the availability of clinical trials.
- Step 1: Ask for information pamphlets to help you and your loved ones understand your condition.
- FACT: Each year, between 2,000 and 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are reported in the United States.
- Step 2: Ask about a course of treatment if your diagnosis has already been confirmed. Courses of treatment will vary depending on your age, overall health, size and location of tumors, stage of cancer, and the degree to which the cancer has spread.
- Step 3: Ask your doctor what tests they recommend, and whether you should see a specialist.
- TIP: Take a family member or friend with you to the appointment. They may be able to help you recall later something that was talked about that you forgot.
- Step 4: Bring any medical records to the appointment that may have a bearing on your case, a list of your medications, a list of your symptoms, and information about yourself such as major stresses in your life or recent life changes.
- Step 5: Bring a detailed work history to the appointment. This will help the doctor know whether you were exposed to asbestos, which is believed to be a cause of mesothelioma.
- Step 6: Make a doctor's appointment if you have symptoms of mesothelioma. These may include chest pain under the rib cage, painful coughing, shortness of breath, lumps of tissue under the skin of your chest, and unexplained weight loss.