Mesothelioma.com Resources for Patients and their Families

Mesothelioma Doctors

Oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, some specific to mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma doctors understand the latest research and treatment advancements, including through clinical trials. In recent years, strides have been made in understanding and addressing the disease.

Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma should seek the care of a specialist that has experience treating the disease to receive the best care. Mesothelioma doctors can help patients and families understand their prognosis, as well as any treatment options available.

Choosing a Mesothelioma Doctor

Not all physicians have experience with mesothelioma, so patients are typically referred to a cancer specialist by their healthcare provider. Finding a mesothelioma specialist is not only crucial to receiving the best treatment, but also to ensuring an accurate diagnosis. Early detection is difficult for mesothelioma, but the best way to improve prognosis. A mesothelioma specialist can diagnose the disease, or confirm a diagnosis, determining mesothelioma type, cell type, staging, treatment options and prognosis. With a thorough understanding of mesothelioma cancer, these doctors can help inform patients and their families.

Patients often have to travel to a comprehensive cancer center for specialized care. Most cancer centers are located in major cities, but there are mesothelioma doctors around the United States. Below is a guide to mesothelioma doctors by state.

Mesothelioma Doctors By State

It’s important for patients and their loved ones to find a doctor that they are confident and comfortable with to lessen their stress throughout their treatment journey. When selecting a doctor, patients should ask questions and gain a thorough understanding of the physician’s experience, treatment capabilities, level of trust and communication and ability to meet any patient concerns.

Experience with Mesothelioma

Treatment Options

Trust and Communication

Practical Concerns

Top Doctors by Mesothelioma Type

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of the cancer, followed by peritoneal mesothelioma. There are many doctors that specialize specifically in one of these types with experience treating cancer of the lungs or cancer of the abdomen. For example, a doctor specializing in pleural mesothelioma will have additional insight into what treatment options are available, their effectiveness and new clinical trials and research that could be helpful for your individual case. When choosing a mesothelioma doctor, patients should look into their specialties to find someone well-versed in their type of cancer.

Initial Appointments with a Mesothelioma Doctor

It can be overwhelming for patients to attend their first appointment after a mesothelioma diagnosis, especially when they have to travel. A good way to prepare is by getting organized with information and questions that will help the doctor understand your concerns and all aspects of your individual case.

Patients should consider bringing:

Prior to the appointment, patients should also:

What to Expect During the Appointment

Initial mesothelioma appointments can vary based on the cancer center, doctor and patient circumstances. Typically, they can last from 1 – 3 hours, and may start with a physical exam or additional testing. This is meant to provide more clarity regarding your diagnosis.

Mesothelioma doctors typically discuss the following during an initial appointment:

Questions to Ask Your Mesothelioma Doctor

Communication between mesothelioma patients and their medical care team is crucial throughout their diagnosis, treatment and after-care journey. Asking questions is a way to build strong communication, while also offering peace of mind to patients and their families.

Be Prepared with the Following Checklist
  • What type of mesothelioma cancer have I been diagnosed with?
  • Is the cancer localized or has it spread to other organs in the body?
  • Have you identified the mesothelioma stage my cancer has progressed to? What does that mean for me?
  • Is there a treatment protocol that you can recommend?
  • How effective do you believe the treatment will be?
  • Are there any risks or side effects associated with these mesothelioma treatment options? If so, how severe are they?
  • Given your findings to date what do you believe my prognosis to be?
  • Is there a cure for mesothelioma?
  • If you believe my cancer is curable, is there a chance that it will come back?
  • What kind of recovery times can I expect?
  • Are there any clinical trials available for me to participate in given my diagnosis?
  • How can I go about seeking a second opinion?
  • How can I begin preparing now for any recommended treatment options?

Mesothelioma is a rare disease that not everyone is aware of, so it can be difficult to determine what questions should be asked. Patients should find a medical care team that will communicate with them throughout their treatment journey, and after, to address any concerns as they emerge.

Other Appointment Resources

Treatment typically doesn’t begin during an initial appointment, so patients have time to gather more information and discuss with family members before making final decisions regarding their treatment plan.

Before leaving the cancer center, there are a variety of other staff members that patients and their families can speak with, including nurses, other specialized oncologists, social workers and financial advisors. Nurses and oncologists can offer additional insight into medical questions and concerns that the patient might have after discussing with their mesothelioma doctor. Social workers can provide insight into a variety of resources, such as nearby travel and stay accommodations, spiritual resources and much more. Understanding treatment costs and insurance coverage can also be difficult, and financial advisors can be helpful for patients to establish a financial plan prior to their treatment journey.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois
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Top Mesothelioma Doctors

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