Families of loved ones who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma experience the sort
of devastation and distress that just like any kind of cancer, has an impact on both patients and their
Rare type of cancer
As anyone involved with mesothelioma claims will confirm, malignant mesothelioma is a rare,
asbestos-related cancer which manifests itself on the protective tissue that cover our lungs and
The majority of confirmed cases are diagnosed as pleural mesothelioma and can generally be traced
back to job-related exposure to asbestos at some point.
Exposure to asbestos has been dramatically reduced as a result of legislation but a steady number of
people are still getting mesothelioma due to the fact that it takes anywhere from 20 to 50 years for
symptoms to emerge after exposure to asbestos.
Developing an understanding
There is currently no cure for mesothelioma and the outlook for any diagnosed with the condition
still remains poor in general terms, but recent research has made significant progress in having a
better understanding of this cancer, which has led to some new treatment options and alternative
therapies becoming available.
Receiving the news that you have a condition like this is almost certain to affect your emotional
health and cause a fair degree of instability and uncertainty in your life, which is why it is important
to have the support of those that love you throughout this traumatic period and every step of the
Support of loved ones
Help and support is available for both patients and their families, as this is an emotional journey that
is better tackled together rather than in isolation.
If you are diagnosed with a form of mesothelioma it is more than likely that you may initially feel
completely overwhelmed by a number of differing and powerful emotions.
You will almost certainly have a period of reflection where you contemplate the prospect of death
and it is quite normal to also have concerns about the effect your diagnosis will have on your family
and friends as well as your own future.
The vast majority of people who become personally entwined with the effects of a cancer diagnosis
will benefit from getting some support and the support of your loved ones as well as the
professionals treating you and various support groups, will all be some source of comfort at such a
Considering hospice care
Hospice care provides emotional and spiritual support for terminally ill patients and their families
and the focus at this point is very much on care rather than cure.
Understanding this scenario as a patient or family member will often help the use of hospice care to
manage the practicalities of the situation more easily and also provide you with support and
guidance on dealing with the great emotional challenge of caring for a loved one who is dying.
Hospice is an alternative to palliative care which is a healthcare approach to treating patients
through the combined use of medications as well as providing help with psychosocial and spiritual
Whichever route you decide to take, it is a painful and stressful journey that is better tackled with
the support of families and friends.
Lindsy Marine works as a health practitioner and always appreciates the opportunity to share her
insights and suggestions with an online audience. She understands the need for guidance and
information and is a regular writer for a number of online consumer resources.