Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the mesothelium, a sac that covers and protects the body’s internal organs. When a patient has mesothelioma, the mesothelium cells become abnormal and divide spontaneously, invading and damaging other tissues and organs. Malignant mesothelioma is more likely to develop in people who have been exposed to asbestos particles on a regular basis. Asbestosis and asbestos lung disease are other conditions that can arise when a person is exposed to these chemicals.
As with any illness or disease, the support of family and friends is crucial for the mesothelioma patient to recover both physically and mentally. Mesothelioma support can also be stronger when it comes from support groups, so the patients can interact with and relate to other people who are experiencing the same symptoms, conditions and challenges that they are. Emotional support and discussion groups are two big components of mesothelioma support and can do wonders for a patient’s recovery.
Cancer support comes from a variety of sources.Other people are the most valuable support tool for anyone suffering from any illness because people are naturally sympathetic to others’ hardships and want to help in any way they can, even if just by listening. Counseling as a form of mesothelioma support can go a long way toward the patient overcoming his or her mental obstacles. Additionally, religious groups can help cancer patients work out issues and fears regarding such topics as trust, pain, isolation, fear and death. Home care services may also offer mesothelioma support as part of mesothelioma treatment; this may involve a nurse or therapist visiting the patient at home and talking with him or her.
Additional mesothelioma support groups can be found using the phone book or the Internet to search for non-profit groups, social service groups or health services. Different groups will have different focuses and methods of working out issues, but personal sharing is usually the best way to uncover individual fears and concerns, to which group leaders and members can respond and offer sympathy and support. A support group may be led by an expert, or it can be run by a member or members experiencing the same trials. Anyone seeking mesothelioma support should seek out a group with a focus and structure that meets individual needs and concerns.
Support groups for mesothelioma patients provide a balance of education and counseling. They usually convey information about the disease and what to expect at various stages, along with coping mechanisms for each stage. Family members of mesothelioma patients are encouraged to attend groups with their loved ones so they can understand what their relative is going through and provide better care.