Jill Meyer-Lippert and Jennifer Brown are co-authors of a series of in-depth articles on the oral side effects of cancer treatment and the importance of getting…
Hanna Bessinger is a freelance writer for Mesothelioma Help.
Mesothelioma is one of the rarer cancers. To put it into perspective, around 1,685,210 Americans are diagnosed with some type of cancer each year. The number of Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma each year? Around 3,000. Since mesothelioma is so rare, there is not as much support and information available for patients battling mesothelioma as there is for patients battling more common cancers. This is why the Mesothelioma Help website was developed.
Mesothelioma Help is a comprehensive web resource for those dealing with the disease or for those who suspect they may have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives. The website was funded and started by the lawyers at Belluck & Fox, LLP. This law firm is one of the top law firms in the nation that deals with victims of asbestos exposure. After they began representing clients with mesothelioma, the firm realized that there needed to be a comprehensive resource available to patients that offered medical and legal information, while also creating a community of support. To meet this need, they sponsored the creation of Mesothelioma Help, a free resource for their clients as well as anyone impacted by mesothelioma.
The site has continued to grow and offer more information and assistance to those who need it most. Here is a quick overview of a few of the main resources that Mesothelioma Help offers.
An Overview of The Disease
When people are first diagnosed with mesothelioma, they are generally full of questions, since the disease is not a highly public one. For this reason, one of the first resources developed for Mesothelioma Help was a comprehensive overview of the symptoms and cause of the disease. Mesothelioma is caused by a single factor—exposure to asbestos. So, it seems simple enough—avoid asbestos and avoid mesothelioma. The problem is that not long ago, asbestos was widely used in a variety of environments. It was used on navy ships, on planes, in construction sites, and often was even used in the construction of homes. This caused many people to be exposed to it without any knowledge of the risk they were undergoing.
In addition to discussing the cause of the disease, the website also offers information on the various types of mesothelioma and how it generally progresses. Once newly diagnosed patients have learned about the cause of the disease and its general symptoms and progression, they can take advantage of the medical resources the site offers.
The site includes a good overview of the treatments for mesothelioma. It covers surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and photodynamic therapy as options for treatment. There is a free chat feature that allows patients to ask medical professionals any questions they have about dealing with mesothelioma. This is helpful, since many patients have no idea what they will be experiencing once treatment starts. Being mentally prepared can help to ease some of the initial anxiety that patients experience.
The site also offers a directory of doctors and facilities that specialize in treating mesothelioma. Since the disease is so rare, many doctors and medical institutions have not had any experience treating it. The difficulty that some patients were having finding a doctor or facility that had experience treating the disease is what inspired this directory. All the patient does is enter the location where he/she lives and what kind of specialist he/she is looking for. Then, a list of the closest doctors and treatment facilities will be pulled up.
The medical section of the site also offers information about current clinical trials looking for participants and what being part of a clinical trial entails. This section is helpful for patients who may want to participate in a clinical trial but have no idea what to expect or where to start. It can also help those who are undecided understand the benefits and risks of clinical trials, so that they can go on to make an informed decision.
Information for Veterans
One of the most at-risk populations for asbestos exposure is veterans, and Mesothelioma Help offers a page dedicated specifically to the needs of veterans who have been exposed. This page explains the ways that veterans from different military branches may have been exposed to asbestos, and it also offers information for those who wish to file a claim after being harmed by asbestos exposure during military service.
Mesothelioma Help was also founded with the goal of community involvement and spreading awareness about the disease. The site hosts a scholarship contest for college students at the beginning of each year. The contest awards a variety of cash prizes for the best essays that help encourage public awareness about the disease. The site also offers different chats, a question and answer section, and other resources to help mesothelioma victims gain a sense of community as they start to cope with their diagnosis.
Lastly, the site offers free legal information for those affected by mesothelioma. Why legal information? Since the disease is caused by the exposure to asbestos, those who were exposed to asbestos without their knowledge can sometimes be eligible for compensation to help pay for their treatments and care. This sort of compensation can be of tremendous help to families who are suddenly burdened with the sometimes enormous costs of treatment. There is a free chat box in this section, where patients can ask questions of a legal expert for free if they are not sure if they are eligible for or want to pursue compensation.
These are just a few of the features the Mesothelioma Help offers to patients facing this deadly disease. If you explore the site, you will find much more information, a free e-book, a free chat that allows you to speak with nurses, and much more. If you are a mesothelioma patient and have a suggestion for a feature that you’d like to see on the site, be sure to use the contact information on the site to let the owners know.
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