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Malignant Mesothelioma: Newly Diagnosed

Being told you have malignant mesothelioma can be scary. You may have many questions. There are people on your healthcare team who can help.

Coping with fear

It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about the cancer and about your treatment options can help you feel less afraid. This also helps you work with your healthcare team to make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.

Working with your healthcare team

Depending on where your cancer is, you might have different types of providers on your healthcare team. These might include:

  • Thoracic surgeon. This is a provider who uses surgery to treat diseases in the chest.

  • Surgical oncologist (oncologic surgeon).  This provider uses surgery to treat cancer.

  • Medical oncologist. This is a provider who treats cancer with medicines, like chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy.

  • Radiation oncologist. This provider treats cancer with radiation therapy.

  • Pulmonologist. This is a provider who treats diseases of the lungs.

Many other healthcare providers will be part of your team as well. For instance, oncology nurses, a social worker, a dietitian, or a psychologist may be part of the team working with you. They can answer all your questions. They’ll help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests you need and the results of those tests. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions and help prepare you and your loved ones for what’s ahead.

Learning about treatment options

To decide the best course of treatment for you, your healthcare team needs to know as much as they can about you and the cancer. This may mean getting some tests and working with more than 1 healthcare provider. You may also decide that you want to get a second opinion to help be sure about your diagnosis and your treatment options. Your team can help you do this.

Getting support

Coping with cancer can be very stressful. Talk with your healthcare team about seeing a counselor. They can refer you to someone who can help you and your family. You can also join support groups to talk with other people with mesothelioma. Ask your healthcare team about local or online support groups.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Susan K. Dempsey-Walls APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
© 2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
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