Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, caused by asbestos fibers, that attacks the heart, lungs or abdomen lining of a patient. Representing only 0.3 of all diagnosed cancers, mesothelioma is known as an "orphan disease" and as a result does not have the same kind of research facilities or funding as other more common forms like breast or prostate cancer. For those diagnosed with any form of mesothelioma, it is essential not only to begin treatment as soon as possible but also find a doctor that specializes in the treatment of this condition and that is on the leading edge of mesothelioma treatment and drug research.
Specialists for Mesothelioma
While a primary care physician will often be able to diagnose mesothelioma by combining presenting symptoms with information given by a patient, these doctors are not able to provide the kind of ongoing care and treatment that someone suffering with mesothelioma will require. Instead, a mesothelioma specialist - a doctor that has focused their entire career on fighting mesothelioma - is required in order to ensure the highest life expectancy as well as access to the best treatments currently being offered. It is also important for a patient to find a mesothelioma doctor that specializes in the exact form of cancer they have contracted as pericardial, peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma can all present in very different ways.
Pericardial mesothelioma, for example, is extremely rare and while a mesothelioma doctor whose focus is pleural mesothelioma could offer some advice, an expert in pericardial mesothelioma would have better access to clinical trials as well as knowledge of the latest research. Before selecting any mesothelioma specialist, it is important to consider not only their area of expertise but how long they have been practicing, how many patients they have treated and what types of treatment they typically recommend for patients.
Well Recognized Doctors
Every state and most large cities will have doctors that specialize in the treatment of mesothelioma, but there are also a number of nationally recognized doctors like David Sugarbaker of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Robert Cameron of UCLA in Los Angeles and David C Rice of the University of Texas MD Anderson in Houston. These doctors have made it their mission to not only utilize the latest forms of treatment in the fight against mesothelioma but also develop new methods themselves and seek out ways to extend the survival rates of patients and improve their overall quality of life. While it may not always be possible to meet with these doctors directly, they are an excellent place to start in a search for targeted and effective treatment.
The choice of a mesothelioma doctor can make all of the difference when it comes to patient comfort, longevity and the fight against this type of cancer. Having the right doctor provides not only safety but the security of experience combined with knowledge of cutting-edge research and treatments. For more information about mesothelioma doctors in your area, contact us today for a free information packet.