At a recent meeting with patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, as usual, we exchanged a lot of information. Some patients shared their experiences about surgery; other patients shared their thoughts and feelings about scans, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We shared thoughts about why sometimes surgery is recommended over chemotherapy or vice versa. Everyone discussed their concerns and questions about the treatments.
Information comes at us from multiple sources. We can get information instantly these days from the internet. It is estimated that approximately 1/3 of Americans look online for medical information – like this blog. Reading about mesothelioma online can be very scary and concerning. Knowing the source of your information and the context of the statistics and information is very important. While we share this information with you, it is extremely important to speak with your medical providers about your health.
For patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, treatment needs to happen at the right time, at the right stage of the disease and the person must be physically able and mentally willing to undergo treatment. This information can only be evaluated with a medical expert in mesothelioma. Treatment for malignant mesothelioma is decided on a case by case basis.
Reading the latest statistics can be interesting, but do they apply to you? It is estimated that at least one-third of people living in the United States use symptom checkers for routine and urgent medical conditions. Since many of the initial symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are the same as more common conditions, you could be worrying yourself unnecessarily. While you may be experiencing symptoms that concern you, it is best to discuss these with your doctor, as these online tools are not appropriate to diagnose a medical condition.
Search engines can be very helpful in obtaining information, but they should only be a part of making your decision regarding your health care. Please remember to discuss the information you find on the internet with your healthcare professionals.