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After the Diagnosis: Tips for Finding the Right Mesothelioma Specialist

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You or a loved one has just been diagnosed with mesothelioma. What do you do? Should you stick it out with your current doctor or get a new one? Here’s what you need to know and how to get through this.

Should You Find A Specialist?

There are many good and bad things about going with a specialist. The major benefit is that the specialist will know more about your cancer than any other doctor would. There are multiple types of mesothelioma and finding the right doctor who is experienced with your specific type is going to make all the difference when it comes to a treatment plan.

Doctors who specialize in mesothelioma are also going to be much more knowledgeable about ongoing research and clinical trials. They may be able to help you get enrolled in experimental treatments or point you in the right direction if they think you can get better care elsewhere.

Your Doctor’s Bedside Manner

Lawyers who specialize in mesothelioma treatment and malpractice are well-aware that not all doctors have good bedside manners. This is a problem because, even if a doctor is good at what he does, that poor bedside manner may make things harder for you as a patient. And, it could even result in messing up treatment, which leads to a potential malpractice suit.

Getting matched with a doctor isn’t always easy. Sometimes, you need to go through several GPs to get referrals for a doctor who will listen to you and will be compatible with your personality.

Pick Someone With Experience

Assuming you already think you need a specialist, what you have to do is pick someone with experience. With this type of cancer, it’s important. It’s not that other cancers do not require a specialist. But, for some cancers, there is a routine or standard of care that can be followed and there’s not too much skill or luck involved.

With mesothelioma, you need a doctor that has experience with the stages this cancer progresses through, when treatment needs to be done, how aggressively, and who won’t be fooled by false positives or negatives on diagnostic tests.

What About Clinical Trials

When you don’t think you have a chance, you need to seek out a specialist who has experience with clinical trials. Some of the best specialists have their finger on the pulse of this side of oncology, and they know all the clinical trials that are going on. They’re searching for a cure, and they’re testing out the new research. Only about 5% of new cancer patients participate in these trials, and most of the patients had specialists looking out for them.

Treatment Expertise and Options From Your Doctor

Dr. David Sugarbaker is the doctor who pioneered a radical but successful extrapleural pneumonectomy for pleural mesothelioma. Dr. Paul Sugarbaker developed his own treatment, which consisted of heated chemotherapy baths. This is not uncommon. Specialists tend to craft their own treatment plans that are highly specialized and customized for the patient.

This is the mark of a true professional.

Zoe Potter is a healthcare support worker who provides emotionally support to individuals and their families who have been effected by Mesothelioma. She writes on the subject for various websites to raise awareness.