A diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease can leave people feeling confused and uncertain. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information and support available for victims of asbestos exposure. There are a variety of informational websites explaining everything from treatment options to methods of selecting doctors and treatment centers. Many areas also have support groups available to people looking to interact with others going through the same experiences as themselves. There are also a variety of online forums and support groups available to people looking for the answers to specific questions or who do not have an in-person support group in their area.
The internet has a variety of informational resources available to people looking to learn more about mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Governmental websites can be particularly helpful since they are often reliable and offer unbiased information. The Centers for Disease Control, a governmental public health agency, maintains a website with many different informational materials on it. The information on the site includes lists of helpful books, government statistics, and guides for people dealing with mesothelioma. The Environmental Protection Agency also keeps a list of different links and fact sheets for people interested in learning more about asbestos exposure and the diseases it can cause. This list is a compilation of a variety of reliable government sources from federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as information that state governments have compiled.
Mesothelioma patients also have access to a variety of support groups to help them work through the serious emotional issues that accompany a mesothelioma diagnosis. While the exact groups available to patients depend upon their geographic location, many of the support groups operate based on similar techniques. The groups usually involve a gathering of patients with mesothelioma who come together to share their experiences and struggles of living with mesothelioma. Often, a facilitator will lead the group and encourage discussion among the members, without forcing anyone to participate if they are not comfortable. The facilitator may be a fellow patient, or simply someone trained in aiding support groups. Depending on the particular group, they may also bring people in to give presentations of a variety of topics related to coping with mesothelioma.
For people who do not have access to a support group in their area, but still want to find a community to help them cope with their diagnosis, the internet can be a powerful tool. A variety of different online support groups exist to help people discuss the issues that arise from living with mesothelioma. These support groups can take place either online or through conference calls. Additionally, the broad reach of these online groups allows them to take on more specific niches and topics. These can include both support for specific types of mesothelioma, as well as expanding support groups to caregivers and family members of people with a mesothelioma diagnosis. The Mesothelioma Center keeps a partial list of support groups like these, but many more are available to mesothelioma patients and their families.