Stages -On the basis of the examinations described above, the doctor determines the stage of the disease, which is the extent to which the tumor has expanded in the body. The doctor takes into account, among other things, the location and size of the tumor, whether and how far the tumor has grown in the tissue around it and whether there are metastases in the lymph nodes and / or organs elsewhere in the body. We distinguish four stages for mesothelioma. They are indicated by Roman numerals from I (initial stage) to IV (advanced stage).
The treatment of mesothelioma is discussed and planned in a consultation involving specialists from different disciplines and also your doctor. For the choice of treatment, this team of doctors mainly takes into account the extent of the disease, the location and size of the tumor and the general condition of the patient. The treating doctor then discusses the treatment proposal with the patient. The doctor records the treatment in consultation with the patient. There is currently no healing treatment for mesothelioma. There are treatments that inhibit the growth of the lump and make complaints such as shortness of breath and pain.
Care and makeup for cancer patients
Everyone likes to look good. And whoever looks good also feels better and has more self-confidence. That is true for those who are healthy, but certainly also for those who are sick. Read more here about care for your tired or gray skin, about dealing with hair loss, colour and style advice, etc.
Social provisions for cancer patients
Cancer is not only physically and morally often financially difficult. As a cancer patient you are entitled to all kinds of interventions. Read here which facilities are available in this way. And get help from a social worker from the hospital, health insurance fund or public welfare centre, because it is complicated to figure out what you are entitled to and how you receive the allowance.
You take care of someone with cancer
What does it mean to take care of a neighbour with cancer? What help can you get with this? Which premiums can you apply for? Which leave can you take to look after a sick person? We list all possible information for caregivers here. You will also find many tips here to keep health care bearable.
How do you respond if someone you know has cancer?
Does a family member, friend, neighbour, lover, colleague … have cancer? Then you probably also have that doubt: how do I respond best? What can I say? How can I help? We give you tips on how you can talk and how you can assist the other person in this difficult situation.
If you fall ill as a parent. Talking about cancer with children
What if as a (grand) parent you are told that you have cancer? How do you tell the (grand) children? How do you deal with their emotions? Where can you find help and support? Read all about talking about cancer with children or grandchildren here.
Talk to doctors
What do you want to know from your doctor? Here you will find a number of questions that you can take with you to the consultation with your cancer specialist. Also read how doctors consult together about your individual treatment in the so-called ‘multidisciplinary oncology consultation’ (MOC), about how you can request a second opinion and about your right to inspect your medical file.
Tips and advice for if you have (had) cancer and want to take out insurance, if you have doubts about what to tell an insurance company, what you can do if you were refused insurance …
Work and study
Going to work after cancer, going to school or studying with cancer: you undoubtedly have a lot of questions about this. You will find everything about going to school and studying, and (especially legal) information about resuming work after cancer.
Stories, books and blogs
Hope, support, courage and inspiration: you will find it in stories of other people affected by cancer. Read testimonials about cancer of ordinary people, from the patient life magazine , in books or blogs.
Palliative care and end of life care
Palliative care is the total care for patients and their loved ones who have to deal with a life-threatening illness, if it is no longer possible to cure. The key is to improve the quality of life and patient comfort. Palliative care is for everyone, at home, in the hospital or in the retirement home.
As a surviving relative
The period after a death is particularly difficult for the surviving relatives: emotionally, it is difficult and all sorts of things have to be arranged. View here where you can go for information about dealing with loss, grief and practical arrangements in the event of a death.
Fatigue with and after cancer
Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of cancer and its treatment. How is it that she is so overwhelming? How to deal with it Will this fatigue ever disappear? How to save energy and still remain active? What can you do yourself to maintain your physical condition and gradually build it up again? Who can you contact with questions about the theme? Read here how you can find a better balance between resting and moving and other practical tips.
The most common complaints with mesothelioma are:
pain or pressure in the chest
shortness of breath
swelling on the chest (as the tumor grows between the ribs)
Do you have one or more of these complaints? Then visit your doctor. He or she will discuss your current state of health and your history and ask if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past. The doctor will also examine you physically. It may be necessary to have an X-ray of the lungs taken. The doctor will discuss the results of this examination with you.
Are there indications that you have mesothelioma? Then the doctor will refer you to a pulmonologist (pneumologist). The specialist repeats the physical examination.
Other investigations can then take place:
CT scan of the chest (also called thorax)
puncture of the fluid in the pleura (pleura puncture )
pleura biopsy (pleural biopsy): this is done via an endoscopy of the thorax (also called thoracoscopy or pleuroscopy)
If mesothelioma is diagnosed, other tests may follow to see if there may be metastases elsewhere in the body. This is often a PET scan .
View a number of questions that you can ask your doctor if you have cancer .