Your diagnosis is the start of a journey

Being diagnosed with an asbestos related disease is likely to change your perspective on life. Things that used to matter may no longer seem so important. The relationships and everyday things you took for granted may now take on new value. Understanding what your body needs You will find out what really makes you tick.…

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NICE offers new hope for patients with asbestosis

For the first time, patients and their doctors will no longer need to choose between trying a new medicine which has the potential to extend their life and the alternative of claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and a lump sum from the Workers’ Compensation Scheme. Drugs which slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis were previously …

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Coping with a life-changing diagnosis and setting your own goals

Writing on mesotheliomahelp.org, nurse specialist Lisa Hyde-Barrett reminds us that being diagnosed with an asbestos related disease is life changing. Patients handle this differently. Everyone is unique and so there is no right or wrong way. She says, ‘We must allow ourselves or our family members to feel their fear, or anger, or whatever emotion…

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Coping with the stress caused by asbestos

A recurrent theme when we first speak to new service users is stress. The diagnosis often comes as a shock. People are frequently stunned to realise that they have been exposed to asbestos or that it has caused them harm, often many years afterwards. Once the news has sunk in, there is then the everyday…

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Marian’s story: the impact of mesothelioma on my mental health

Marian, a former social worker who lives in Birmingham, shares her thoughts and feelings about being diagnosed with mesothelioma. In October last year my life changed. A brief telephone call, from one of the medical registrars from the Hospital where I had undergone investigation, told me that I had a rare form of cancer and there was…

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Quality of life is all important

Researchers in Australia have confirmed what we probably already knew. Quality of life is all important. When patients have an illness like mesothelioma it can also help them to live for longer. Previous studies had already shown that people survive for longer, on average, when they receive good palliative care or symptom control. This new…

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The role of our genes in mesothelioma

People often wonder they have got mesothelioma. Sometimes this happens after a very small exposure to asbestos. Our genes are one of the things which play a part. For instance, one gene, BAP1 or BRCA1 associated protein-1, mutates in some people. This seems to make them more vulnerable to mesothelioma. Chemoresistance The same gene also…

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Why palliative care can help

It can be a shock, and very disappointing, when the oncologist says that – in their opinion – the best available treatment is palliative care. Deciding the best treatment for a patient is always a balance. The patient and their doctor have to weigh the likely benefits and the likely side effects. These might make…

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