02 May Mesothelioma Is A Heavy Burden For Any Family
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects between 2000 to 3000 people per year with an average survival rate of only one year. Following a diagnosis, a patient usually exhibits symptoms such as shortness of breath, abdominal pain, and weight loss. While the physical effects of mesothelioma can be devastating to the patient, the effects and costs to the patient’s family can also be a heavy burden.
The patient and caretakers face troubling side effects that require advanced maintenance. Although the medical care assists in treating the cancer, the patient may experience sleep apnea, eating disorders, “chemo brain,” influenza, and pain medication dependency. By learning about these different disorders, a patient and his or her family can work to keep track of and manage the different effects of treatment. Unfortunately, certain side effects such as debilitating pain, sleep disturbance, and a weaker immune system are common occurrences with chemical treatment and may be unavoidable.
The costs that result from mesothelioma treatments are as unavoidable as the side effects of the treatments. Caretakers must plan extensively when it comes to managing financial costs of expensive drugs, chemotherapy, and health insurance. In addition, they must also plan long-term matters such as housing, counseling, and, finally, end of life support. Preparing for these various issues can take a financial and mental toll on a family, especially if the patient is the former principal breadwinner.
Fortunately, in the United States there are plenty of resources to help the families and caretakers of cancer and mesothelioma patients. Some government programs like Medicaid and Social Security offer certain benefits to specific cases like mesothelioma. Lawsuits are also regularly filed for compensation if it is proven that a patient’s occupation lead to the cancer. Finally, there are outside sources and support groups that provide care and counseling for those who work to support loved ones diagnosed with cancer. Although treating a family member with mesothelioma can seem like a never-ending task, the additional available resources mean that you are never alone.