When diagnosed with an overwhelming disease such as mesothelioma, the first course of action should be to find the most effective and skilled doctor available. For most patients, that means working within the limitations and parameters of insurance plans and financial restrictions. Despite this, there are some mesothelioma specialists worldwide who specifically study the effects of mesothelioma on the body and ways to cure it. In addition, there are scores of knowledgeable doctors who can help assist in alleviating the disease process.
Known to result from exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that progresses slowly but gravely. It attacks the heart, lung and abdominal areas with devastating effects. Because of this, it is important to find a doctor who had dedicated resources in the treatment of mesothelioma.
The First Doctor’s Treatment
With so many different kinds of doctors available, it’s hard to know which to choose. It’s likely that a primary-care physician, also called a family doctor, was your first step to a diagnosis. Typically, primary-care doctors will try to treat any disease process with the most effective known treatments based on an educated guess and basic medical tests. Because mesothelioma often initially presents itself with a persistent cough, heart palpitations or abdominal pains, you may have been initially treated for something completely different than cancer.
Once initial testing confirms a cancer diagnosis, you will be referred to an oncologist, or a doctor who specializes in cancer treatment. At this point, it would be wise to contact a mesothelioma cancer center, often located in the nation’s top hospitals, for the most effective mesothelioma treatment. If one is not available in your area, a skilled oncologist is the next best option. An oncologist has years of advanced training in the field of cancer care and treatment and can easily come up with the best course of treatment.
Advanced Medical Care
Depending on the type of mesothelioma you have, there are several different types of oncologists. Each has years of specialized education for the best possible outcome. Sometimes patients see multiple types of oncologists. Consider all of these doctors part of your team and future medical care:
- Medical Oncologist – These doctors are often the main oncologists for patients and determine the best overall course of treatment. As a cancer doctor based in a cancer research center or laboratory, medical oncologists have the advantage of knowing the most advanced medical treatments available. These types of oncologists work to not only treat mesothelioma but also find a cure. They work in conjunction with medical students and teaching hospitals to further the field of study.
- Radiation Oncologists – As part of the oncology team, a radiation oncologist uses radiation beams to target specific cancer cells and tumors. After years of training, radiation oncologists know the best line of treatment to shrink tumors. The radiation is typically used alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy and surgery. Radiation treatment can also be used as palliative care to alleviate pain.
- Thoracic Oncologist – As a specialist in lung and chest cancers, a thoracic oncologist is often asked to join a team fighting mesothelioma. These doctors serve as experts in many areas of cancer care, including chemotherapy and surgery.