More about talking with your doctor

Are there any tips for telling other people about my cancer?

It is likely your doctor has worked with a number of people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. They can give you ideas on how to discuss your health status with family (including children) friends, casual acquaintances as well as your boss and co-workers. Who you tell about your diagnosis and treatment and how much information you give them is completely up to you.

Should I plan to work during my treatment?

Your doctor will be able to give you recommendations on how much you may need to scale back your duties at work and at home. No matter what your doctor says, you also need to listen to your body. If you feel like you can do more, up your activity level a little at a time. If you are having a hard time with your current activity level, don’t be afraid to take time to rest. While you are undergoing treatment your body is being put under a lot of stress and this can cause you to feel weak and tired.

Are there any side effects I need to worry about?

There have been great developments in medications to treat the side effects of mesothelioma treatment. Even with the improvements, most people will still experience some minor treatment side effects. These can range from hair loss to mouth sores to bone and joint pain. Ask your doctor about what side effects you may experience and if there are ways to counteract them. Again, don’t be afraid to ask. There is no need to suffer from side effects in silence when there are numerous treatment options available.

How can I cope emotionally with my diagnosis and treatment?

One less-talked about aspect of mesothelioma treatment is the emotional toll it can take. Many people undergoing treatment for cancer experience anxiety and depression. These emotions can even cause physical symptoms like insomnia or nausea if left unaddressed. Your doctor can give you suggestions on how to keep a positive mental attitude during treatment. They may also be able to recommend a cancer support group, individual therapy, or prescribe an anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication.

Knowing the right questions to ask can make a difference in your mesothelioma treatment. From diagnosis, through treatment and into remission continue to talk with your healthcare team. Let them provide you with the expertise, advice, and tools you need for successful cancer treatment.

Free Information Packet on Mesothelioma

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