Finding the Right Doctor for Mesothelioma
Finding a mesothelioma doctor who is familiar with the disease and its treatment will help to ensure that you receive the best medical care possible. Health care available at the local level may be adequate if you choose standard care options such as chemotherapy. However, if you are interested in more specialized forms of treatment, it is important to find a mesothelioma doctor who has experience in the most up to date treatment options available.
Because mesothelioma is a rare disease, many mesothelioma doctors are unfamiliar with the diagnosis, progression, and treatment of mesothelioma. Therefore, it is crucial for patients to find doctors who are knowledgeable in mesothelioma treatment specifically. One way to find a mesothelioma specialist who specializes in lung cancer care is to ask for a referral from your primary care physician. You may know a mesothelioma doctoryourself, or hear about one through the experiences of a family member, coworker, or friend. In addition, you might consider making enquiries with the American Cancer Society.
Find a Local Mesothelioma Specialist
Types of Mesothelioma Specialists
A mesothelioma specialist is a physician who is licensed to practice medicine in your state and has passed a specialty board exam. Examples of specialized mesothelioma doctors include:
- Thoracic Surgical Oncologists: surgeons who treat cancers in the chest.
- Medical Oncologists: doctors who specialize in treating cancer and providing chemotherapy treatments
- Radiation Oncologists: doctors who specialize in the use of ionizing radiation therapy to kill malignant cells in the lungs
Various other healthcare professionals may also be involved in your treatment, including pathologists, respiratory therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers.
Making an Informed Decision
In order to make an educated decision when selecting your mesothelioma doctor, there are several important points to consider. Listed below are some key questions that you should be able to answer before choosing a mesothelioma doctor:
- Does the doctor have the education, training, and certification necessary to meet your needs?
- How many cases of mesothelioma has he or she treated in his or her career?
- Has the doctor provided you with information on mesothelioma and the treatment options you might be eligible for?
- Does the doctor address your concerns with patience and treat you with respect?
- Does the doctor encourage you to ask questions and provide answers in terms that you understand?
It is important for you and your family to have a good relationship with the mesothelioma doctor you choose based on trust and respect. This will ensure good communication between you and your doctor in decisions concerning your medical care and treatment.