Mesothelioma, as we know, is caused by exposure to asbestos, which has long been associated with blue-collar industries such as construction and maritime trades. Yet, as we continue treating patients, we meet many people with mesothelioma who do not fit in these categories. This week, we met with two patients, one of whom is a local teacher and the other a healthcare professional. Both of them are under 60 years of age, one a female and one a male. One of them was very physically active and was experiencing an uncommon shortness of breath; the other had a pain on their right side which was getting worse.
The teacher and healthcare professional come from very different areas of the United States, and are unsure of how they were exposure to asbestos. Both have different mesothelioma types and locations within their bodies. (Unfortunately, mesothelioma strikes important organ clusters. For example, mesothelioma cells can start growth in the lungs, the diaphragm, and the heart.)
No matter your sex, age, or ethnicity, many people have the diagnosis of mesothelioma in common. For everyone, it is important to seek out medical opinions. Each diagnosis came from their respective local hospitals, but fortunately, both ended up at a Mesothelioma Center, where advanced treatment options are available. Still in 2019, people are unaware of mesothelioma specialists and that there are treatments offered. Mesothelioma may be a rare disease, but there are so many support options. For example, there is assistance with travel to a Mesothelioma Center if needed, and often, there is help for lodging expenses available, too. At a Mesothelioma Center, each case is evaluated, and treatment options are recommended based on your disease stage, what treatments you are eligible for, and what you are comfortable with.