After you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, choosing which mesothelioma doctor you will trust your care to is one of several important decisions that must be made. The tips below offer guidelines for finding a mesothelioma doctor who can meet your needs, ensure that you get the best possible care, and help you through this difficult time.
Tip 1: Find a Doctor who has Experience Treating Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure Cases
Mesothelioma cancer is a relatively rare disease and not all doctors are knowledgeable regarding asbestos exposure, diagnosing mesothelioma, and the types of mesothelioma treatment. It is important for mesothelioma patients to find a doctor who has experience treating patients with this disease, particularly if they are interested in exploring some of the newer and non-traditional forms of mesothelioma treatment. There are several ways that you can find mesothelioma doctors, including the following:
- Ask your primary care physician to refer you to a mesothelioma specialist
- Contact an organization such as the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation or the American Cancer Society and ask if they can provide assistance
- Ask any friends, family members, or coworkers who have dealt with a mesothelioma diagnosis if they can recommend a doctor.
Remember that every mesothelioma case is different and every patient has their own unique set of needs and concerns. You may have to consult with several mesothelioma doctors before you find one that you are comfortable with.
Tip 2: Ask the Right Questions
Before choosing a mesothelioma specialist, you should talk to the doctor and ask questions in order to learn about his or her background and qualifications. This can also help you get a sense of the doctor’s personality and character. Listed below are three key questions that you should ask a mesothelioma doctor that you are considering going to for treatment:
- How many cases of mesothelioma cancer have you treated in your career?
- What kind of specialized education, training, and certification have you received related to mesothelioma and asbestos cancer?
- What kinds of mesothelioma treatment options can you provide?
It is important to find a mesothelioma doctor who you trust to provide the highest level of care possible. You need to be comfortable communicating with your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have regarding your mesothelioma treatment. It can be very helpful if your family has a good relationship with the doctor as well, particularly if your family members are taking an active role in your treatment.