A solid support system that addresses the importance of the emotional side of mesothelioma is essential for people diagnosed with this rare, aggressive cancer. Patients, caregivers, family and friends often find comfort through participation in mesothelioma support groups, where they learn effective coping skills and meet others who understand what they are going through.
While many patients and caregivers find all of the emotional care they need from support groups, others find they need care beyond what a support group can offer. Those include individual therapy and medications for anxiety or depression. Doctors and mental health advocates provide that support. They help mesothelioma patients and loved ones recognize signs of distress and provide tools they need to care for them in ways that chemotherapy and radiation therapy don’t touch.
Support groups are not group therapy. Members are not being treated for a psychological disease. Instead, members provide emotional comfort to one another. Medical attention is not given at a support group, but patients are free to share their experiences with treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Learn from others by joining our monthly online support group run by a licensed mental health counselor.
Treating any cancer is costly, but the rarity of mesothelioma often means increased treatment expenses. Fortunately, financial aid is available through government assistance, charities or legal options.
Financial Options – To learn more about financial options, speak to one of our Patient Advocates by calling (855) 404-4592.
United States Veterans make up a significant portion of those afflicted with mesothelioma. Because asbestos exposure was common in the military, Veterans with mesothelioma may be eligible for financial assistance.Let our Veterans Assistance Network help you.
For patients and families struggling financially, aid is offered from a variety of charitable organizations. Some provide money to help pay for treatments, while others provide services that help defray some of the hidden costs a patient may incur, like travel expenses to the nearest mesothelioma specialist and treatment facility if one does not exist locally.Search our Recommended Charities
Pain is naturally associated with developing mesothelioma. Some of the earliest signs of mesothelioma progression include pain in the chest and abdomen. However, your mesothelioma doctor can help you manage your pain effectively and increase your quality of life.
There are a number of feelings a person recently diagnosed with mesothelioma is likely to experience, including stress, anger, confusion, denial, depression and more. We provide patients and caregivers alike with a substantial number of resources so they can feel comfort in knowing they're not alone.
Some people with mesothelioma elect to join support groups so they can share and discuss their feelings with others in similar situations. Caregivers have emotional needs, as well, and many find that support groups address their unique needs and help them cope.
Studies have shown that people with terminal cancers who participate in support groups have higher survival rates and increased quality of life. Support groups often are arranged by local hospitals, therapists or cancer advocacy groups such as the American Cancer Society and the American Psychological Oncological Society.
The Mesothelioma Center also has a monthly online support group for anyone affected by this cancer. Licensed mental health counselor Dana Nolan leads an education-based group discussion that also serves as a safe, judgment-free environment for sharing emotions and ideas.
Mesothelioma caregivers need a support network of their own, as helping a friend or loved one with mesothelioma can be equally overwhelming and a lot of work. Some of the responsibilities involved might include shopping for groceries, cooking, cleaning, paying bills and driving to doctor appointments.Find out more about caring for a loved one with mesothelioma.
Depression and anxiety almost always accompany any life-threatening illness, and the same is true with mesothelioma. Depression is not just feeling down or blue — it is a clinical diagnosis that can require treatment from a professional.
Clinical depression comes with a specific set of symptoms. Among them are mood swings, fatigue, feelings of sadness or emptiness that last for more than just a few days, feelings of helplessness or worthlessness and changes in eating and sleeping habits.
It's important to recognize the symptoms of anxiety and seek help. These groups can provide some assistance to you or a loved one:
If you or a loved one needs emotional support or help finding a support group that fits their needs, call (855) 404-4592 to speak with one of our Patient Advocates.
There are many resources for individuals dealing with grief over a mesothelioma diagnosis of a loved one. Below are some online resources that can be useful during these difficult times:
Learn how to get Support When Traveling
I'm contemplating taking a vacation abroad with my family. What do I need to consider before making travel plans?
Read more Questions to Ask Your Doctor
After my family doctor diagnosed me with mesothelioma, I went to a specialist who treats people with my disease. I learned a lot from my first visit, but I still have unanswered questions. What didn't my doctor tell me?
Find out what end-of-life decisions to consider and how to prepare Read our Assisted Living page to learn if this is something that is right for you Find out if hospice care is an option you should consider
My symptoms are worsening and my prognosis is poor. What important decisions do I need to start thinking about as I near my final days?
If you'd like to stay up-to-date with some of the most recent news in research, treatment and events for mesothelioma, sign up for our free monthly newsletter. The Mesothelioma Center's email newsletter contains reviews about successful treatments, survivor stories, asbestos exposure information and much more.
View our resources for patients and familiesGet Help Today