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Support for Asbestos Disease Patients and Families

While a diagnosis of asbestos mesothelioma is undoubtedly devastating, it is important to know that you have a variety of support resources available to help you navigate through these tumultuous waters.

Cancer Treatment Centers

Fortunately, we live in a country with exceptional medical facilities that support thousands of medical professionals dedicated to helping patients with mesothelioma and other cancers. Because mesothelioma is a rare cancer, not all oncologists (cancer specialists) are equally familiar with this asbestos cancer. Therefore, you may wish to consult with a cancer treatment center that specializes in, or focuses on, mesothelioma cancer treatment.

The following is a list of some of the top asbestos mesothelioma cancer treatment centers in the United States. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, you may be able to find additional highly reputable and qualified cancer centers.

Doctor/Medical Resources

Doctors who specialize in the treatment of asbestos mesothelioma work in virtually every state in the country. Many of these doctors are employed by some of the top cancer treatment facilities listed above, though some work in other hospitals and centers. Often, mesothelioma experts live and work in larger metropolitan areas within every state, so patients may have to travel to reach such services. If this is the case for you and your family, you may want to look into housing and transportation support services, which may be able to assist you in affording the financial component of reaching the top mesothelioma doctors.

Asbestos Cancer Resources

National cancer centers are a good place to start locating the support resources you need. They can assist with (or connect you with local groups that can assist you with):

  • Counseling services
  • Medical decision assistance services
  • Home health care services
  • Hospice services
  • Advocacy services
  • Financial services
  • Housing and Transportation services
  • Medical services

These centers—such as The American Cancer Society, The Cancer Hope Network, and several others—can help patients and their loved ones receive the help and support they need during this experience. Links to additional resources can be found on our Resources page.

Asbestos Victim Support Groups

Victim support groups, or perhaps more aptly survivor support groups, are offered in every state and virtually every city. While specific mesothelioma support groups may not exist in all places, cancer support groups certainly do. These can be found by contacting your doctor or hospital, social worker, or any other support professional in your area.

Financial Planning and Support for Asbestos Victims

People who have been exposed to asbestos on the job may be entitled to compensation under state workers' compensation laws, the Federal Employees' Compensation Program, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Program, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, depending on then nature of your employment. The best way to learn about these avenues of financial support is to contact an asbestos lawyer.

In addition to these financial support options, you may also be able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit to seek compensation for your expenses, as well as your non-economic losses and suffering. Often the best way to receive the financial support you need to battle asbestos diseases is to seek compensation through a legal claim. More information about mesothelioma legal help and asbestos legal help can be found here.

Family and Caregiver Support

Family members and caregivers should not underestimate the importance of finding and utilizing support services. Caring for a loved one who has asbestos mesothelioma or a related asbestos cancer can be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting. While loved ones often put their needs on the back burner to care for someone with cancer, it is important that they take some time to care for themselves. Not only is this good for them, but it also enables them to give more to their loved ones.

Caregiver support networks and resources are available all over the United States, on the national, state, and local community levels. Don't be afraid to ask for support for yourself during this difficult time.

SOURCES:

Hassan R, Alexander R, Antman K, et al. “Current treatment options and biology of peritoneal mesothelioma: meeting summary of the first NIH peritoneal mesothelioma conference.” Ann Oncology. 17 (2006): 1615-1619

Ismail-Khan R, Robinson LA, Williams Jr. CC, et al. “Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Comprehensive Review.” Cancer Control . 13 (2006): 255-263

National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov

Pistolesi M, Rusthoven J. “Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Update, Current Management, and Newer Therapeutic Strategies.” Chest . 126 (2004): 1318-1329.

Steele JPC, Klabatsa A. “Chemotherapy options and new advances in malignant mesothelioma.” Ann Oncology . 16 (2005): 345-351.

Vogelzang N, Rusthoven J, Symanowski J, et al. “Phase III Study of Pemetrexed in Combination with Cisplatin versus Cisplatin Alone in Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.” Journal of Clinical Oncology . 21 (2003): 2636-2644.