It is easy to believe that we know what patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma need. But beyond state-of-the-art medical treatment and the compassion and love of those around them, patients with this rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos face unique challenges. They must confront the grief that a terminal diagnosis brings, while at the same time dealing with the anger that comes from knowing that their illness could have been prevented had asbestos companies only put people in front of profits. In recognition of the need for greater understanding of how best to care for these victims. the charity Mesothelioma UK has recently announced that they are bestowing a $33,000 grant for senior nursing research fellow Dr. Catherine Henshall of Oxford Brookes University to study the issue, with a particular eye to their follow-up care needs.
Though mesothelioma is a rare disease, it has hit the people of the United Kingdom even harder than in the United States. There are roughly 2,700 people diagnosed with the condition in the United Kingdom each year, and though this falls short of the 3,000 cases diagnosed in the United States, our country has a far greater population than the United Kingdom does. To address the needs of the many UK citizens who have been impacted by the asbestos-related disease, Mesothelioma UK supports the country’s National Lung Cancer Forum in a variety of ways, including providing nurses who specialize in mesothelioma care to a variety of sites.
The grant that Dr. Henshall has received is specifically earmarked at identifying the best practices for follow-up care for mesothelioma patients. Though a great deal is known about the emotional needs of patients diagnosed with long-term and fatal illnesses, less is understood about the special requirements of people who must confront both a rapid decline and the reality of the negligence with which they were treated. Dr. Henshall has expressed hope that her research will “enable us to make informed recommendations for policy and practice” so patients can lead fulfilling lives.
For information on the resources available to you when you or someone you love are faced with a mesothelioma diagnosis, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.