We always encourage people to go to a Mesothelioma Center of Excellence for a personalized treatment evaluation. Malignant mesothelioma is such a rare disease and is difficult to diagnose. Therefore it is best to get your options from an expert. Since treatment options are dependent on the cell type, stage, and functional status of the patient with the disease, it is important to go to a center that has an experienced team of experts. The mesothelioma expert is a leader in the treatment of the disease, but you are expert on your life.
How do you find a center that will be the best “fit” for the person with the diagnosis and their family? You are looking for a center that has an expert with experience, and a dedicated team to support you through the journey. There are also intangibles that you need to consider. One of them is your ability to relate with some members of the team at the mesothelioma center.
What are some of the qualities that you are looking for when you look for a doctor to lead your team in the fight against this serious cancer? There are some characteristics that you will not be able to find when you google your expert. One of the most important qualities is the ability to really listen to the person diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and their families.
What makes these centers different is the experience of the staff. There is no substitute for experience. With experience comes confidence, which must be balanced with curiosity and openness. When a person is an expert in something it is vital they remain willing to listen to others. The experts must possess intellectual humility. Intellectual humility is defined as the ability to recognize what you think and believe could be wrong. The expert should be comfortable with new ideas, options and foster a culture that encourages new ideas to be brought forth.
Some of the leading doctors in the field of mesothelioma research, when talking with a patient and their family, will sometimes surprise the family by saying, “I don’t know.” Through years of supporting people with mesothelioma and their families, we have recognized the importance of telling people upfront that there is still so much to learn.
Seeking out an opinion at a Mesothelioma Center of Excellence can be a life-altering decision. Asking for help can be difficult for some of us – make sure you are comfortable with your ability to communicate with your expert or one of the members of their team.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man, true nobility is being superior to your former self.” Ernest Hemingway