The process of choosing a physician, or team of physicians, can be a difficult one. Understanding the function of the various types of doctors a patient is likely to encounter during the treatment process can help to alleviate some of those stressors. Like patients with other kinds of cancer, those with mesothelioma are likely to work with a number of different specialists throughout the progression of their treatment.
Where mesothelioma is concerned, it is rarely effective to make use of treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery individually. Patients with mesothelioma are commonly prescribed a course of treatment with a multi-modality approach. Adopting a multimodal course of treatment helps doctors to provide the patient with the strongest possible prognosis by combining any number of traditional treatments, both curative and palliative. Because the majority of physicians today are likely to pursue specialties, patients can usually expect to receive multimodal treatments from an entire team of physicians, rather than a single doctor.
FREE Mesothelioma Information
It is important for patients to take a proactive approach concerning their treatment options. In many cases, it will be possible for a patient to take a short, yet safe, span of time in order to contemplate all of their options. Choosing the right team of doctors can have positive dividends down the road.
Apart from receiving services and aid from a general practitioner, a patient who is suffering from the symptoms associated with mesothelioma is likely to be referred to a number of specialists. Together, this team of doctors can combine their areas of expertise in order to provide the best possible treatment and prognosis. One of these specialists will most likely be an oncologist; this is a physician who focuses on various types of cancer. Alternatively, if surgery is an option, the oncologist may choose to perform the surgery themselves or recommend the services of a surgical specialist. Depending on where the tumor or tumors are located, a thoracic or abdominal surgeon is normally among those specialists called upon to assist in the surgical component of patient’s treatment. Furthermore, therapeutic radiologists or radiation oncologists may also be solicited in order to perform radiation therapy that is designed to reduce the size and potency of the tumor.
It is important to note that treatment does not always include only the traditional elements previously noted. Patients with mesothelioma may also visit additional specialists, such as a pulmonary therapist or a pulmonologist. These doctors work to improve overall lung health, as well as provide follow-up care for the primary approaches to therapy. However, the physical health of the patient is only one component of their treatment. In many cases, a diagnosis of mesothelioma can present the patient and their loved ones challenges from a mental health perspective. As a result, oncologists may suggest a patient makes visits to either a psychiatrist or psychologist in order to maintain the patient's positive outlook. Having an optimistic attitude during treatment has been shown to improve the degree to which a patient is responsive to physical forms of treatment.
There is currently no cure for mesothelioma and the life expectancy for this cancer remains low. However, the doctors who work in the various disciplines concerning mesothelioma continue to improve the health and lives of the people afflicted with this rare form of cancer. It is important for a patient to remain an active participant in their prognosis and treatment. The various doctors and specialists a patient will encounter during this time are always available to answer questions and address any concerns the patient or their loved ones may have.