I have been given a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Since this is a rare disease, how do I know that my physicians have enough experience with the disease to treat me?
Ask! Don’t hesitate for one second to ask your doctor about his experience treating mesothelioma! He or she will not be offended. Keep in mind that if your physician had been given the same diagnosis, the physician would also be asking where to find the best treatment.
According to Dr. Pass, if your physician or medical treatment facility has not treated more than 50 cases of mesothelioma per year or does not specialize in the disease, your doctor will most likely refer you to a cancer treatment center.
Enlist your doctor’s aide in coordinating your initial consultation with a mesothelioma specialist or other treating facility. Many people I have spoken with claim that their personal physician is their strongest advocate. Use your trusted physician to perform the preliminary medical testing and provide your medical history to your new doctor. Once you have undergone surgery or chemotherapy, your primary care physician will be instrumental in your recovery.