Finding qualified mesothelioma doctors and cancer centers is crucial for patients seeking specialized care for this rare and aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Here are some steps and resources to help locate reputable doctors and centers:
- National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Centers: These institutions are recognized for their comprehensive research and treatment of various cancers. Some NCI-designated centers might specialize in mesothelioma. You can visit the NCI website or call their helpline to inquire about mesothelioma-specific centers.
- Specialized Mesothelioma Centers: Several centers across the United States focus specifically on mesothelioma treatment and research. Examples include:
- The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) provides a list of treatment centers and specialists specializing in mesothelioma.
- The International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is a renowned center for mesothelioma treatment.
- The Pacific Mesothelioma Center at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute in California is another notable institution.
- Consult Medical Databases and Directories: Websites like the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) or the American College of Surgeons may have directories of oncologists and specialists.
- Seek Referrals: Ask your primary care physician or local hospital for recommendations. They might refer you to specialists or centers with expertise in treating mesothelioma.
- Online Resources and Support Groups: Mesothelioma advocacy groups and forums often have resources, recommendations, and personal experiences shared by patients and caregivers. Websites like the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation or the American Cancer Society can provide valuable information.
- Check Doctor Credentials: Once you’ve shortlisted doctors or centers, verify their credentials, experience, and the success rates of their treatments. Look for board-certified oncologists with experience in treating mesothelioma.
- Consider Clinical Trials: Research centers often conduct clinical trials for new treatments. Participating in these trials can provide access to cutting-edge treatments. Websites like ClinicalTrials.gov can help you find ongoing trials.
Remember, when choosing a doctor or cancer center, consider factors such as their experience, expertise, location, treatment options offered, and your personal preferences and needs.
Always consult with multiple specialists and consider seeking a second opinion before finalizing a treatment plan. The treatment approach for mesothelioma often involves a multidisciplinary team, including oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, and palliative care specialists, working together to provide the best care possible.