Top 10 Mesothelioma Blogs of 2015

Year in review 2015

Plenty has happened in 2015 when it comes to mesothelioma — from medical breakthroughs and new treatment options to survivors living longer than ever before.

All of us at The Mesothelioma Center are dedicated to bringing the latest information to our amazing group of survivors, caregivers and advocates. We work hard to provide resources for those who need it most.

About 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. That’s 3,000 people whose lives are turned upside down when a doctor says that dreaded word: Cancer. And that’s 3,000 people looking somewhere — anywhere — for hope.

Many people underestimate the role hope plays in a cancer diagnosis. Whether that hope manifests itself in a quest for a new alternative therapy or if it is in the reading a one-of-a-kind survivor story, it can work wonders on your spirit, your health and most importantly your happiness.

Our goal is to provide answers to key mesothelioma questions, to help patients learn about the newest treatment options and to inspire patients with amazing survivor stories. Throughout 2015, a lot of our top blogs talked about alternative treatment options and the power of positive thinking.

Alternative Therapy for Mesothelioma

It’s no surprise that alternative treatment options were a popular topic in 2015.

Every single day, mesothelioma survivors and their loved ones are looking for other sources of hope. Whether this means helping a survivor feel more comfortable during their traditional treatment regimen or if a survivor decides to forego traditional options, alternative therapy can help survivors have a higher quality of life.

Alternative therapy can be a great option for cancer patients as long as they have discussed it with their oncologist ahead of time. Before incorporating complementary and alternative treatments in your overall treatment plan, be sure to speak with your doctor and medical team.

Reiki for Cancer Treatment

Reiki is a mind-body therapy that helps restore the balance between the mind, body and soul. The goal is to create in-depth healing on a spiritual, mental and physical level. Reiki itself is a non-invasive therapy that passes energy from one person to another in order to promote well-being.

It helps relieve tension, fear and anxiety. Often, it is paired with meditation to offer deep relaxation and peace.

For cancer patients, this can mean feeling refreshed and more positive about the future. Additionally, it can help to minimize the side effects of traditional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation.

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Essiac Tea

Rumors of a cancer-curing tea originated in the forests of Ontario in the 1920s.

At that time, Canadian nurse Renee M. Caisse held the only recipe, one that she fervently protected until just before her death. The tea’s origins and healing properties are steeped in mystery. Also, there are federal restrictions on its use because of possible toxicity. It also has been linked to a death.

While the verdict on the validity of the claim that Essiac tea helps cancer patients is still out, many patients wonder whether the herbal recipe could be the cure they need. The power of Essiac tea lies in the fact that it is chock full of antioxidants and in the placebo effect, which reminds us once again of the power of hope.

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The Cancer-Fighting Power of Turmeric

It’s amazing how the spices in your cupboard are not only tasty in food, but they may also contribute to the success of several cancer treatments. Turmeric is a deep yellow spice, commonly used in Asian and Indian recipes, which contains a special active ingredient: Curcumin.

For centuries, curcumin has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Now, researchers are testing curcumin’s ability to suppress tumor cells in several clinical trials. One recent study showed the ability for curcumin to activate a specific protein that could slow or stop the growth of mesothelioma cells.

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Acupressure Points for Cancer

Acupressure, a form of massage, has shown the ability to alleviate chemotherapy side effects such as nausea, fatigue, anxiety and pain—the four most common side effects of cancer treatments. Most cancer patients find relief by accompanying acupressure with traditional treatment options.

By applying pressure to specific points called acupoints, the body can stimulate healing. In many cases, patients can perform the massage on themselves, which can help in moments of overwhelming nausea or anxiety.

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Acupuncture May Relieve Stress

Much like acupressure, acupuncture can help a cancer patient manage the side effects of their treatment plan and ultimately improve their quality of life through alternative therapy. Taking acupressure to the next level, acupuncture involves a small needle inserted to a specific point on your body to promote a balance of energy and a lower stress level.

An acupuncturist can help determine the best points to focus on during acupuncture. While acupuncture is not for everyone, many patients report feeling more relaxed and refreshed after an acupuncture session.

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The Importance of Positive Thinking and Hope

No matter what your prognosis is, being diagnosed with cancer is never easy.

Whether you personally have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or if your mom, dad, brother, or best friend has been diagnosed, it hurts.

Learning how to remain positive and not give up hope can make a huge difference when it comes to a happier, healthier life. Often, remembering that there are survivors out there beating the odds every single day can provide a slice of solace to get you through the day.

Feisty Canadian Survivor Fighting Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Raeleen was born a fighter, and when she was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, she wasn’t about to stop fighting.

“I was always the tough one in the family growing up. When my dad first heard the diagnosis, it just broke his heart. But he knows what a fighter I am. He told me, ‘You are your father’s daughter. You’re Ukrainian, so kick this cancer’s ass.’

“My oncologist told me up front that I was going to die rather quickly. But I decided I wasn’t going to die. Not right now.

Even after losing a handful of organs, including her uterus and cervix, and over 13 feet of intestinal tract to fight the deadly asbestos-related condition, Raeleen is optimistic that she won’t be giving up this fight with the help of God and the unconditional love of her family.

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Survivor Mentality Benefits People with Mesothelioma

When Melanie Ball’s father was diagnosed with mesothelioma, he wasn’t about to give up.

Richard Lloyd Barker fought mesothelioma with the spirit of a warrior. He did everything with his entire heart. Fight cancer was just one more battle that he took head on. Because of this, he survived a year longer than his initial prognosis.

Have you ever wondered how your mentality plays into your condition and your survivorship?

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Using Religion and Spirituality to Cope with Mesothelioma

Many patients and caregivers turn to religion and spirituality to guide them along their cancer journey. It is with their faith that they are able to find the strength to go on every day. Turning to a higher power often helps patients feel hopeful.

The National Cancer Institute reports that spiritual and religious well-being can help improve health and quality of life by decreasing alcohol and drug abuse; lowering anxiety, depression and anger; decreasing blood pressure; and increasing the ability to enjoy life during and after cancer treatment.

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Swedish Mesothelioma Patient Recalls Diagnosis and Treatment

When George Schottl began to experience difficulty breathing, he never thought it would be something as serious as mesothelioma.

His life was finally falling into place. With a growing and thriving new company and a wedding in the works, he never thought cancer would weave into the picture.

Soon he was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. With the help of his beautiful fiancé, he began thinking the right way. He decided to take it one day at a time, and to not give up hope no matter what. George lived nine years past his initial prognosis, and to this day, he is an inspiration to every mesothelioma survivor.

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Mesothelioma Survivor Credits Cannabis Oil Treatment to His Recovery

It’s been over five years since Andy was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

When Andy’s clinical trial drug stopped working for him and doctors told him to prepare his affairs, his wife, Ruth, took matters into her own hands. She spent hours endlessly searching for other options — anything that could help her husband. That’s when she learned about cannabis oil.

Cannabis oil is extracted from the buds of a marijuana plant. Ruth and Andy credit the controversial, alternative treatment for his recovery. Now, a year after being told to look into hospice, Andy is described as “the picture of health.” He can finally get back to living his life with Ruth by his side.

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This year, and every year, we are dedicated to making the lives of those affected by mesothelioma better. Everything we do, we do for those who need it most. If you or your loved one is living with mesothelioma and you have questions, please let us know. We are here. We will listen.


Cara joined The Mesothelioma Center as Social Media Specialist in July 2015 to continue her mission of making a difference in world. Every day, Cara speaks with survivors, caregivers and their loved ones in the online mesothelioma community to answer questions and offer emotional support. If you have a story idea for Cara or you'’d like to learn more about social media, please email her at ctompot@asbestos.com.

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