A diagnosis of mesothelioma comes with a lot of questions and, of course, lots of emotions, too. There are so many things the cancer patient and their loved ones will need to know and want to know once a diagnosis is made. Of course, questions about prognosis are always at the forefront of everyone’s mind and that prognosis will largely depend on the treatment available to the patient as well as specifics such as the stage of the cancer and the overall health of the patient.
One question that should always be asked is “Where is the best facility for the treatment of this type of cancer?” Sometimes the answer is obvious. Sometimes it isn’t. There are many factors that determine where and how a meso patient will receive the best care. Consider some of the questions below.
Can I Stay Close to Home or Do I Need to Travel Elsewhere for the Best Care?
Anyone who’s ever been diagnosed with cancer hopes that they can remain near their home and family when being treated for their disease. If you are fortunate to be living in or close to a large city with a top-notch cancer care facility, then you may be in luck. But many mesothelioma victims aren’t so fortunate. Instead, in the interest of finding good care, they choose to seek out a hospital that will do them the most good, even if it isn’t within close distance of their home.
If that’s the case, your selected cancer care center may provide access to low-cost or free housing for patients from out of the area who are being treated at their hospital. If you find you need to travel elsewhere for the best care available, check out places such as the American Cancer Society-sponsored Hope Lodges. Each Hope Lodge provides space for the patient and a caregiver to live while being treated in its region. Such facilities are a godsend for many. Some hospitals also have partnerships with nearby hotels that provide low-cost rooms for patients.
Where Will I Find a Specialist in My Disease?
Again, if you’re fortunate, there will be a meso specialist in your own proverbial backyard. But don’t hesitate to do a little research to find where the best ones might be. It may be worth the trip! Look not only for the most well-versed oncologists in mesothelioma but also for hospitals involved in current clinical trials for patients with asbestos-caused cancers.
Currently, there are renowned mesothelioma experts at facilities that include:
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
- Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD
- Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI
- Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY
- NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY
- University of Pennsylvania Cancer Centers, Philadelphia, PA
- MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
- Washington Cancer Institute, Washington D.C.
How Will I/We Afford the Care?
The first questions about the cost of mesothelioma care should go to your health insurance company. Hopefully, you will be fully covered but that’s doubtful, considering possible expenses that include travel, paid caregivers where needed, and much more.
Remember, someone was responsible for your asbestos exposure, be it an employer or the manufacturer of asbestos-containing products. If you are unable to meet expenses or fear your family will be left destitute upon your passing or the passing of your loved one, consider taking legal action against the negligent parties. A successful suit could relieve much financial pressure for you and your family.