In honor of the passing of lung cancer awareness month, it's important to keep in mind that many people who have mesothelioma cancer will live with this disease for years as they struggle through the treatment and rehabilitation process. Even after you beat mesothelioma, the side effects from treatment can still haunt you, and this type of cancer is notoriously hard to put into remission. If you're struggling with mesothelioma or you know someone who's been afflicted with this disease, you'll want to know more about the type of support that mesothelioma patients require in the long term.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the tissue that lines a variety of organs in your abdominal area. According to the Mesothelioma Veterans Center, mesothelioma can be separated into three different types of conditions. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma cancer, and this condition affects the lining of your lungs. This cancer occurs when asbestos enters your lungs; your body can't remove asbestos fibers through coughing, and as asbestos fibers remain in your lungs, they can transform the healthy cells of your lungs into cancer cells. This type of cancer can occur on the lining surrounding your stomach, and you can also get mesothelioma on the lining on your heart. However, these types of mesothelioma are much rarer.
Who Does Mesothelioma Cancer Affect?
Mesothelioma can affect anyone who has been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos may still be present in homes and workplaces around the country since this substance was once present in thousands of industrial, commercial, and domestic products. Whether it was in a professional or domestic setting, anyone who has been exposed to asbestos runs the risk of developing mesothelioma.
This disease primarily affects people who have worked with asbestos in a professional setting. In many cases, people do not become aware that they have mesothelioma for a number of years, at which point the disease has spread from the lungs or gut to other parts of the body. While people who were exposed to asbestos routinely or on a daily basis are more likely to develop mesothelioma, even people who were only exposed to asbestos once can develop this disease.
Long-Term Care Scenarios
While the average age at diagnosis for mesothelioma is 69, a person can be diagnosed with this type of cancer at any stage in life. Hardly any asbestos is around anymore, which means that younger people are far less likely to be diagnosed with this disease than older people, but the younger you are, the more likely it is that you will live with mesothelioma for longer as you continue to struggle to force this disease into remission.
The longer you live with mesothelioma, the more cancer treatments you will have to endure. While the alternative to treatment is much worse, cancer treatments can have a devastating effect on a person's health and well-being, and as they continue to fight their disease, they'll need qualified professional support.
What Is Oncology Rehabilitation?
Oncology is the technical term for the treatment of cancer, but it's often necessary to undergo rehabilitation for this type of treatment in addition to treating your cancer. As you fight or recover from mesothelioma, your care scenario may incorporate pain treatment, nutritional counseling, and exercise programs. In addition, your oncology rehabilitation service may also help you with household tasks. All in all, more than a dozen people may contribute to your oncology rehabilitation, and these professionals may include an oncologist, a physical therapist, a rehabilitation nurse, and a physiatrist.