Coping with Treatment for Mesothelioma

Every cancer treatment has the potential to cause side effects or also changes in the body and also mood. People do not experience the same side effects even after getting the same treatment for the same type of cancer for various reasons and circumstances. This can make forecasting or predicting how you will feel during treatment challenging. 

It is very natural to be concerned about the treatment-related effects as you prepare to begin the cancer treatment. It may be comforting to know that your medical practitioner and your medical health care team will prevent and alleviate the side effects. Medical practitioners call this type of cancer treatment as palliative or supportive care. Regardless of the patient’s age or stage of the disease, it is a significant part of your treatment plan. 

Finding the Right Treatment Facility

 The majority of the cancer health care treatment centres do not have medical practitioners or staff who are experts in mesothelioma cancers. Ultimately this does not suggest that the patients should go to a different place for their treatment. It only tells that the treatment and also the disease is rare.

As mesothelioma is rare, only a handful or a small number of oncologists are considered experts in managing the disease. It is recommended to always go for a second opinion if your present cancer care doctor does not have much experience treating it. Commonly, to oncologists consult with others. They ask for second opinions and discuss the disease with other medical practitioners. The Cancer centres can also help you in getting second opinions. This could consist of blood tests, medical records and also scans. A mesothelioma specialist can be an essential connection to learning and understanding clinical trials. An experienced medical practitioner who knows about mesothelioma can efficiently conduct a study or understand the ongoing practices appropriate for your diagnosis. The information can massively contribute to mental health during procedures like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and other treatments that you are considering. 

What Do We Understand About Mental Health and Mesothelioma?

The American Journal of Industrial Medicine published a review of the best research on the same topic in march of 2018. The most common link between mental health and mesothelioma is that the patients diagnosed with the disease experience significant distress psychologically. The research authors documented the stress reactions among the diagnosed people with the disease. Anxiety, dismay, shock, depression, lack of enthusiasm, difficulty focusing, social dysfunction, and anger.

When diagnosed with mesothelioma, it can take a lot out of you mentally and is fearful. Mental health is not the priority after a mesothelioma diagnosis; but it is essential to take care of the mind and body. Knowing that you or your loved one has cancer can be overwhelming also is a lot of weight to carry. Understanding the connection between cancer and mental health and managing these challenges is another crucial step. This definitely will put you on the path of finding the support you need. It is essential to understand the level and also the type of psychological distress among mesothelioma patients. 

The types of treatments sections list the most common physical side effects of each mesothelioma treatment option. Changes in your physical health are determined by several factors: the stage of your cancer, the length and dose of the treatment, and overall health. It is essential to discuss your feelings with your medical practitioner and the health care team frequently. Also, it is critical to notify them of any new side effects or changes in existing side effects, making you more comfortable and potentially preventing any side effects from going from bad to worse. 

However, it may be beneficial to keep track of all your side effects to explain any changes to your health care team.

Coping with physical side effects

Physical side effects can sometimes last after the treatment is completed. In other words, long term side effects (by the medical practitioners.) Side effects that occur months and years after the treatment are referred to as late effects. Long term side effects and late effects must be addressed as a part of survivorship care. Please read the section on follow up care in the segment, or speak with your medical practitioner to understand more about it. You may find it helpful to keep track of your side effects, so it is easier to explain any changes with your medical practitioner and the healthcare team. 

Coping with emotional and social effects

Following a cancer diagnosis, you may experience emotional and social consequences. Dealing with difficult emotions such as sadness, anxiety, anger, distress, and managing your stress levels, may fall under this category. It can be difficult to express one’s feelings to your loved ones at times. Some people have discovered that speaking with an oncology social worker, medical counsellor, or any member of your health care team can help them develop more effective coping methods and understand cancer. Learn and understand more about coping strategies.

Coping with the costs of cancer care

Cancer treatment can be costly and sometimes out of reach. It is frequently a source of stress and anxiety for all cancer patients and their families. In addition to the treatment expenses, many people discover additional and unexpected costs related to their cancer care. Some people are unable to follow or complete their health resulting in increased costs for the future. Patients and families have to talk about their financial concerns with a healthcare team member. Learn more about managing financial considerations 

Caring for a loved one with cancer

Family and friends often play an essential role in caring for a person suffering from mesothelioma. In other words, being a caregiver. Even if they live a long distance away, caregivers can provide physical, practical, and emotional support to patients suffering from mesothelioma. Caregivers may be responsible for various tasks daily or as-needed, like

giving encouragement and support. Consultation with the health care team and also medication administration. 

They can also help discuss the potential side effects with your medical practitioner before starting the medication. 

  • What are the most likely adverse side effects?
  • When are they most likely to occur?
  • What can we do to avoid or alleviate them?

Also, make careful to notify your health care team and a medical practitioner of any side effects during and after the therapy. Inform them even if you do not believe the side effects are severe. This conversation should cover mesothelioma’s physical, emotional, social, and economic consequences. 


Even with only a limited amount of evidence, mesothelioma, with its high symptom burden, incurability, rarity, and the causations concerning asbestos, leads to complex and inter-relating psychological effects on patients and caregivers. These effects can be either positive or negative. The split and scattered literature gives us a half baked picture and demonstrates a critical need for more nuanced research. Studies and research have shown that exploring specific groups’ experiences is recommended, with caregivers’ particular attention.