Dealing with End-Stage Mesothelioma Cancer
End-stage mesothelioma is the final and most serious phase of this fatal lung disease. In most cases, treatment at this point is focused on keeping the patient comfortable and giving him or her some degree of peace during the final months or days of the illness.
Not everyone diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma has reached the end-stage. In many cases, the patient will be in either stages II or III, when the disease is somewhat advanced but can still be treated through radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or other treatments that will either halt the spread of the disease or slow it down. End-stage mesothelioma; however, has already spread throughout the lungs, chest cavity and sometimes the abdominal cavity and heart as well. At this point, stopping the progression of the disease is no longer a factor because it has already spread so extensively.
Comfort is Primary Focus of Treatment with End-Stage Mesothelioma
Little can be done to prolong the patient’s life when end-stage asbestos mesothelioma is reached. At this point, most patients and their families agree that any treatments with serious side effects are best avoided. Since death will result in a matter of days, weeks or months, treatment focuses on the mesothelioma patient’s comfort so that he or she can enjoy the end stage of life with as much dignity and little pain as possible.
Pain medications are prescribed at strong levels for patients with end-stage asbestos mesothelioma cancer. Patients shouldn’t hesitate to ask for increased medication or more frequent medication as the illness progresses, since pain will increase as well. There is little or no concern about addiction to pain killers in terminal patients, so patients should seek as much comfort as possible.
Hospice and In-Home Professional Care
Hospice or in-home care is often a part of the treatment regimen for mesothelioma cancer in its end stage when patients can no longer care for themselves and family members can no longer handle the work load or emotional distress. Hospices and end-of-life professionals can not only provide physical help, but give counseling and compassion to patients and their families.
If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with mesothelioma asbestos cancer, be sure you seek counseling to cope with the upcoming loss. You should also keep in mind that you still have the opportunity to spend days or weeks with your family and friends around you before end-stage mesothelioma takes its final toll – use that time to live life as fully as possible.
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