Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects your internal organs once it spreads. However, there are two different types of mesothelioma – peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma. Moreover, in rare cases, mesothelioma can also occur in your heart’s lining. That type of mesothelioma is known as pericardial mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer type that can cover your lung’s lining. Although it attacks the chest and moves on to the lungs, it is not considered lung cancer. Moreover, treatments are different from those of lung cancer. On the other hand, peritoneal mesothelioma attacks the stomach’s lining. In addition, symptoms for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma range from nausea to vomiting to bowel problems to loss of appetite.
The leading cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Plus, it can take many years for an exposed individual to develop this cancer type. According to the CDC, patients usually have a median survival rate of one year after contracting this cancer type. Although there isn’t an outright cure for mesothelioma right now, active treatment, surgery, plaintive care, or a combination of the above is recommended to individuals who want to achieve a longer and more comfortable life. So, with that in mind, let us take a look at some ways you can improve your life after contracting mesothelioma down below.
1. Look For Support In Your Community
Most mesothelioma patients enjoy the opportunity to converse with other patients who are experiencing the same illness. After all, their loved ones and family might not be able to understand the obstacles that are associated with cancer entirely. However, other cancer patients can relate to their condition as they are facing the same issue. That said, finding a mesothelioma support group in your local community is the best way to ensure you share your thoughts and try to overcome the horrors of your cancer diagnosis.
2. Opt For Palliative Care
In most cases, your healthcare team might talk to you about giving palliative care a try. it will allow you to improve your life’s quality through alleviating mesothelioma symptoms. Moreover, it also might slow down the spread of this cancer and help you relieve and manage your pain a lot better. Palliative care usually includes treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other types of drug therapies that can help you slow down its growth and reduce pain.
So, if you’ve recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, it would be wise to contact your oncologist and ask them what type of drug therapy will benefit your condition the most.
3. Utilize Less Evasive Pain Management Techniques
No human being should have to live in pain. However, studies show that more than 50 percent of cancer patients don’t properly manage their pain. The same is the case for mesothelioma patients. Too many of them accept the pain when they can quickly eliminate or reduce it, improving their life’s quality in the process.
Typically, pain management allows you to minimize pain caused by any disease along with the side effect of more evasive treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These pain management techniques include; acupuncture, meditation, nerve blockers, music therapy, massage, and yoga.
4. Reduce Stress
There aren’t many experiences in life that are more stressful than fighting cancer, and mesothelioma presents the same challenge to patients. However, stress can cause adverse side effects on your body and mind, worsening an already difficult situation. In fact, according to research, stress reduction can improve a cancer patient’s life quality tenfold.
There are several ways mesothelioma patients can reduce stress. Some of them include; getting plenty of sleep, doing the things they enjoy the most, spending time outside, scheduling social activities, listening to their favorite music, and much more. Of course, stress is something you cannot eliminate.
Exercise is entirely safe for patients battling mesothelioma. Numerous studies show that low to moderate exercise improves physical and mental wellbeing and life’s quality in both the long and short term. Not to mention, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can dramatically improve your mood and reduce the stress that a mesothelioma diagnosis brings. In fact, even a short fifteen-minute walk will help elevate a patient’s energy levels and mood.
That said, a few exercise tips to improve your life’s quality include; setting weekly exercise goals, finding an enjoyable exercise type, doing low-impact exercises, and much more.
6. Improve Your Diet
There is no doubt that a well-balanced, nutritional diet is a vital part of any health and wellness program. Mesothelioma patients who incorporate a healthy diet plan that consists of healthy food choices are more likely to enjoy their lives and maintain hope. After all, mesothelioma patients are more likely to suffer from malnutrition due to a decreased appetite, directly impacting their life’s quality. In addition, malnourished patients feel irritable, tired, and have lower energy levels. Plus, it can be challenging for them to recover from their condition once they are sick. A few ways for mesothelioma patients to improve their diet include; eating whole grain food with high fiber, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, reducing fat intake, and much more.
In the end, patients who understand their diagnosis and its impact on their life’s quality have a better chance of taking control of their health and wellbeing. These individuals should take some time to find out how the healthcare community is working to find a cure for their condition. Since mesothelioma doesn’t have any cure yet, your best bet is to utilize the tips mentioned to ensure you improve your life’s quality and live out your remaining days the best way you can!