Important Notice: ADAO does not make medical diagnoses, recommend treatment, or answer specific patient questions. Specific concerns should be addressed directly by your physician.
October is Health Literacy Month, and at the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), that means driving our prevention initiatives with an even stronger force. Everyone should know the “Irrefutable Facts” about how to protect your loved ones from asbestos exposure, because until researchers find a cure, the only way to stop asbestos-caused diseases is to prevent asbestos exposure.
In parts 1-3 of our month-long Health Literacy series, we blogged about prevention methods, how to recognize high risk occupations, and how to understand the warning symptoms for asbestos-caused diseases. This week, we highlight how you and your loved ones can find the proper medical treatment should you be exposed to asbestos and subsequently contract an asbestos-related disease. Please take a few moments today to read the important facts below, then “be a health literacy hero,” and share this blog with your social networks.
As we wrote in part three of our blog series, symptoms of asbestos diseases after exposure can take decades to detect. Once they are detected, the National Cancer Institute (NIH) recommends individuals seek out a detailed physical examination, including a chest x-ray and lung function tests. While chest x-rays are reportedly the most common tool used in detecting asbestos-related diseases, they only collect early signs of lung disease, not the actual fibers in the lungs. For this reason, studies like those done by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, indicate that patients should elect to seek out other methods of medical detection like computed tomography (CT) scans or surgical procedures like a lung biopsy or bronchoscopy.
Being told that you or a loved one has an asbestos-related disease can often bring about an overwhelming feeling of isolation and grief. Many of us can vividly remember the heartbreaking moment when we heard the diagnosis. But you are far from alone. ADAO is a community made up of people who have gone through similar experiences and can offer their help.
“Mesothelioma – can’t pronounce it, can’t cure it,” was my devastated, personal reaction after learning of my husband’s diagnosis. It took me many weeks to even begin to understand the diagnosis my husband had received and identify the very limited treatment options available to him. My learning curve was steep and Alan was diagnosed before the advancement of the smartphone, with its convenience and learning power.
Navigating the healthcare system maze is complex, but it shouldn’t be. ADAO is committed to replacing those feelings of fear, loneliness, and confusion with the knowledge that there are others who share your experience and want to support you. ADAO has compiled a list of treatment centers specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases, in hopes of providing easy access to information about medical resources.
ADAO encourages individuals to consult a range of sources to find the medical practitioner that best suits their needs for treatment. The National Cancer Institute is an excellent source, providing information on clinical trials and materials in both English and Spanish to answer your questions on “How to Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility if you Have Cancer.”
I sincerely hope that patients and families impacted by asbestos exposure will find this medical resource page beneficial as a guide in finding a doctor, getting a second opinion, and choosing the best treatment facility.
As we say at ADAO, “Hear Asbestos. Think Prevention.”