September 26th is Mesothelioma Awareness Day
We are proud to post the following article from Katrina Banks at mesotheliomasymptoms.com, which you may find of interest if you or a loved one is struggling with this rare form of cancer.
Stress Management and Mesothelioma: Keeping stress to a minimum in the face of difficulty
When dealing with terminal illness, a patient’s ability to handle stress is always an important issue. Their days are often filled with routine amounts of tests, exams, checkups and treatment adding up to a rigorous schedule. In addition, the fear that often goes hand in hand with a terminal illness can often be debilitating. This level of stress is no more apparent than it is with patients of Mesothelioma cancer.
Often overlooked and unfamiliar to the masses, mesothelioma affects nearly 3,000 new patients a year. This involves the development of cancer within the lining of the chest and abdomen area, as there are three separate types of the disease. These include pleural, pericardial and peritoneal mesothelioma. This cancer is known both for its direct connection to asbestos exposure and its long latency period.
With asbestos exposure being the main cause of the disease, numerous military veterans and plant workers from the 1900’s have dealt with the rigors of mesothelioma. The latency period of this cancer is known to make it highly dangerous with low survival rates. Often times, patients are diagnosed 20 to 50 years after an original exposure to asbestos. This long latency period is responsible for making the average mesothelioma life expectancy so low, usually between four and 18 months.
Stress management can be an important factor for these patients in ensuring their quality of life is as good as possible. With low life expectancy and survival rates, these patients’ stress can often be through the roof. Perhaps the most important aid in stress management is a solid support system from family and friends. A solid support system not only prepares patients for the rigors of treatment, but they also provide a sense of relaxation and home, as well as being a source of comfort.
Along with having a solid support system, a number of cancer centers and physicians are suggesting complementary treatment methods as a great resource during the therapy process for patients with all types of cancer. Some of the more popular examples of complementary medicine such as yoga, meditation, chiropractic care, acupuncture and others are known not only to help patients relax, but also as an aid in relieving some of the major side effects of routine treatment such as chemotherapy. With the influx in complementary medicine and a greater focus on keeping treatment side effects to a minimum, patients with mesothelioma and other forms of cancer can explore new ways to overcome the stress that may come with such a diagnosis.
With fall just starting, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is planning to hold the eighth annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day on September 26, 2011. Some of the main issues this year will include the predicted growth of new diagnoses, as well as the aftermath of major events such as 9/11.This day will serve to raise both awareness and funding of this devastating disease.
Thank you for reading,
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