Knowing about mesothelioma—how you can get it, what you can do if you have it, how you can encourage asbestos regulation—makes all the difference when it comes to grappling with an often-mysterious disease diagnosed in only a few thousand people each year. Sometimes, being informed is the quickest route to self-empowerment. For example, once you discover that you have mesothelioma, there are some critical questions to ask your doctor:
- What kind of mesothelioma do I have?
- What treatment options do I have? What is the goal of treatment?
- Should I get a second opinion?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
See the full list of "What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Malignant Mesothelioma?" from the American Cancer Society.
Also from the American Cancer Society, view cancer-themed criteria for choosing a doctor and hospital, along with links to external resources like the Commission on Cancer and the Children's Oncology Group.
Advocacy: mesothelioma awareness in the world
Mesothelioma advocacy can take many forms: legal, political, economic, personal.
- Visit the Mesothelioma Video Library if you are looking for educational videos and support from personal mesothelioma patient stories.
- To connect to thousands of survivors, learn about opportunities for local advocacy, and see the latest in mesothelioma research, you may want to attend the annual International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma.
- To help annually promote September 26 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day, you can contact radio stations or your local government to mark the occasion.
- For asbestos awareness, resources, advocacy, and community, visit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).
- ADAO also organizes a popular conference with a global mission “to prevent, detect and treat asbestos-related diseases,” the 6th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference (April 9-11, 2010).
See related mesothelioma topics: