After you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, your world will seem as if it’s full of doctors. While all the doctors will undoubtedly have your best interests in mind, understanding exactly what each one does can be confusing to a new cancer patient.
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Here’s a list of specialists you’ll probably encounter before and after your mesothelioma diagnosis:
- General Practitioner – Your doctor may not be a specialist in the field of cancer, but is normally your first point of contact. He or she is also the person that can provide much of your medical history and details to any specialists or consultants who are dealing with you. Your doctor is the person that will refer you to a cancer care team or specialist following your initial visit and diagnosis.
- Oncologist – Doctors will typically refer suspected mesothelioma patients to a cancer specialist, known as an oncologist. The oncologist will diagnosis the type and stage of mesothelioma and determine the best therapy.
- Radiologist – Radiologists may take part in performing a number of tests on a patient in the area that may be in question. These types of testing include a CT scan, x-ray, ultrasound or an MRI. Radiologists have daily contact with patients that are potentially ill and their families.
- Pulmonary therapist – A pulmonary therapist is trained to help patients maintain or improve lung function. Even where surgery is not advised, pulmonary therapists can help mesothelioma patients to strengthen their lungs and learn to compensate for lung function lost to cancer.
- Psychologist – Receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma is, needless to say, an emotional experience. Psychologists help patients sort through their various responses to a mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelioma patients who work with a psychologist show the strength to face their future and deal with the serious issues that mesothelioma brings to any patient and his or her family.
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