Life After Mesothelioma Treatment
Treatment is successful in getting rid of the cancer in some patients. This is a cause for celebration, of course, but the concern always exists that the cancer may recur in the future. For other patients, treatment contains but does not eliminate mesothelioma, and they may have to endure ongoing sessions of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to keep the cancer in check. The stress of living with ever-present cancer can be intense.
Follow-up appointments will become an integral aspect of the schedule of mesothelioma patients. Your health care provider will want to know about any symptoms, conduct examinations, and have you undergo imaging and blood tests. It may be necessary to deal with side effects from the treatments. Your doctor can help you draw up a survivorship care plan. This will include schedules for exams and tests, a list of side effects to be aware of, and suggestions for your physical activity and diet.
Remember to keep your health insurance updated, and maintain detailed records of your medical history in case you need to see a new doctor. Although measures such as eating a nutritious diet, regular physical activity, staying at a moderate weight, and not smoking are always advisable, no specific behavior is yet known that will help prevent mesothelioma from recurring. Additionally, there are no known dietary supplements that will reduce the risk of the cancer returning. For this reason, it is best to consult your health care provider before taking minerals, vitamins, herbal products, and other dietary supplements.
It is common after treatment for mesothelioma for patients to feel worried, stressed, and depressed. Instead of isolating yourself, accept support from family, friends, professional counselors, support groups, and others. Some support groups are informal and social, while others are more formal and set up with the intent of providing information and counseling. Find the right support group to suit your needs. Some survivors find comfort in organized religion or personal spiritual practices such as meditation. Take whatever steps are necessary to help you lead a fulfilling life after treatment for mesothelioma.