Myths About the Side Effects of Mesothelioma Treatment

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Medically Reviewed by: Alicja Gruszka, MD, PhD | February 13th, 2024

10 Myths About Mesothelioma & Treatment Side Effects

Among cancers, mesothelioma is rather rare and as a result, facts about the disease are harder to find. Without researched information, myths about the side effects of mesothelioma and its treatment grow and spread (like cancer). Sometimes, general cancer myths change how patients or their families think about treatment. For example, some wellness blogs claim that eating sugar makes cancers worse. While cancer cells use more glucose (i.e., sugar) for energy, no studies show that cutting sugar from your diet will make tumors shrink or die.

Because of how hard accurate information is to come by these days, especially with the rise of dubious medically generated content, you might find it challenging to navigate through the limited information available about this rare disease. As misconceptions tend to circulate in the absence of solid facts, we here at Mesothelioma Hub aim to debunk some common myths surrounding mesothelioma and the side effects of it’s treatment. Stay tuned as we unravel some common misunderstandings about mesothelioma and it’s various treatments.

5 Myths & Misunderstandings About Mesothelioma

Myths about the first signs of cancer come from online posts and word-of-mouth gossip. For these 5 myths, w will explore and dispel five some common misunderstandings surrounding mesothelioma. From understanding the true nature of the latency period to debunking the misconception about how contagious it’s contracted, we’ll navigate through common myths such as the misguided belief that mesothelioma is contagious and the notion that familial history guarantees immunity from the disease.

  1. “The long latency period of mesothelioma means it takes a long time for tumors to grow and cause symptoms.”
    The term “latency period of mesothelioma” indeed refers to the extended duration between asbestos exposure and the emergence of malignant cancers. However, it’s crucial to dispel the misconception that this latency implies slow tumor growth. Mesothelioma tumors, once initiated, exhibit a rapid progression, leading to the manifestation of symptoms within a relatively short timeframe. According to the American Cancer Society, mesothelioma symptoms typically do not appear until 20 to 50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos. However, once symptoms arise, the disease tends to advance quickly
  2. “I was never exposed to asbestos, so I can’t have mesothelioma.”
    Because of the widespread and historical use of asbestos in the United States and its natural occurrence in the environment, everyone is likely to have been exposed to asbestos (knowingly or without knowing) at some point in their life. This is largely due to the amount of asbestos that was used in fireproofing residential homes and offices. Most exposure is not enough to cause cancer however, if you are exposed over a long period of time, that likelihood increases substantially. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can typically help clients uncover the source of their asbestos-caused disease and seek compensation for those responsible. Attorneys have databases of pictures of contaminated products, buildings, and workplaces which can help you form a case.
  3. “Mesothelioma and Asbestosis are the same disease.”
    It is a common misconception that mesothelioma and asbestosis are interchangeable terms for the same disease. In reality, these are distinct conditions with different characteristics. Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer that primarily affects the thin lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart, whereas asbestosis is a non-cancerous, chronic lung condition caused by prolonged asbestos exposure, leading to scarring of lung tissue. Although these diseases are different, it is advised for people who have been diagnosed with Asbestosis, to also inquire about being tested for Mesothelioma as both are linked to extended periods of exposure to asbestos.
  4. “Mesothelioma is contagious.”
    Mesothelioma is not a contagious disease although fibers which are carried home by the one exposed could be released into the air and affect those also living in the residence. As previously stated, Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, and it does not spread from person to person through physical contact or airborne transmission. It is strictly an asbestos-related cancer that develops due to inhaling or ingesting asbestos particles.
  5. “There were no cases of Mesothelioma in my family so I’m never going to get it.”
    It is a misconception to believe that the absence of cases within one’s family ensures mesothelioma immunity. Mesothelioma primarily results from asbestos exposure, and individuals without a family history can still develop the disease due to being exposed to asbestos. This could occur at a work environment or inside an older residence that was made with asbestos.

Asbestos causes latent mesothelioma. Think you were exposed? Request a case evaluation to pinpoint the cause and who’s responsible.
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5 Myths About Mesothelioma Treatment

Misguided beliefs about mesothelioma treatment often stem from misinformation circulating online and through word-of-mouth. In this list, we’ll address and debunk five common myths surrounding mesothelioma treatment. From dispelling the misconception that surgery or tumor biopsies can worsen the condition to clarifying the discomfort associated with treatment side effects, we’ll navigate through these myths to provide accurate insights into the realities of mesothelioma treatment.

  1. “Surgery or a tumor biopsy can cause cancer to spread.”
    It is a common misconception that surgical procedures or tumor biopsies can lead to the spread of cancer and an even worse result. In reality, oncology surgeons undergo rigorous training to ensure the precise handling of cancerous tissues without causing metastasis. Standard medical practices, such as utilizing separate tools when transitioning between different areas of the body, are strictly adhered to in order to prevent any potential cross-contamination and minimize the risk of cancer spreading during surgical interventions.
  2. “Mesothelioma treatment is more painful than the actual symptoms.”
    Side effects of treatments like chemotherapy may be uncomfortable, but are critical for recovery and extermination of the cancer, depending on the stage. However, there have been many advances in chemotherapy as well as medications designed to manage treatment side effects. Today, your quality of life is an important aspect when considering prescribed treatment.
  3. “If I don’t get all of the tests and treatments available, I’m not getting the best care for my mesothelioma.”
    It is important to recognize that not all cancers are the same, and each requires a tailored approach based on various factors, including cancer cell types, stage of cancer, and a person’s overall health. A cancer care team, consisting of experienced oncologists and specialists, is well-equipped to determine the most effective and personalized treatment plan for any specific case. The belief that more tests and treatments necessarily equate to better care. While staying informed and involved in your treatment decisions is essential, blindly pursuing all available options may not necessarily lead to improved outcomes. If you have concerns or doubts, seeking a second opinion can provide valuable insights and enhance your confidence in the chosen treatment approach.
  4. There are miraculous herbs and natural remedies that Fight Mesothelioma.”
    While the idea of a miraculous herbs or natural remedies may sound appealing, there is currently no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness in treating or curing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a complex and deadly cancer that requires comprehensive medical treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or emerging targeted therapies or immunotherapies. While complementary therapies and lifestyle modifications may offer supportive benefits in managing symptoms and improving quality of life, they should not be considered as standalone treatments for mesothelioma. In short, the only cure for mesothelioma accepting that there is no cure.
  5. “Treatment for Mesothelioma is unaffordable for most diagnosed with the disease.”
    While mesothelioma treatment can be expensive, there are many financial assistance programs, insurance coverage options, and legal avenues available to help individuals manage the costs. Many patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have accessed compensation through asbestos trust funds, legal settlements, or by pursuing legal action against responsible parties who negligently exposed them to asbestos. Additionally, health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid may cover a significant portion of treatment expenses. Take action now to explore available resources and make mesothelioma treatment more affordable. Your proactive steps today could make a significant difference in managing the costs of your mesothelioma treatment.

Last updated on May 6th, 2024 at 08:49 pm

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