Mesothelioma is a life-changing illness. One of the best things that you can do to deal with the illness is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. This article reviews some of the most helpful resources to learn more about mesothelioma.
The American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society has various publications concerning topics related to people with mesothelioma and their loved ones. The Society’s Hope Lodge offers housing for individuals with mesothelioma who need to travel for treatment. For additional details, you should consider contacting your local American Cancer Society chapter or visiting their website for a list of resources.
The American Cancer Society provides support to cancer patients in various ways. Whether a person was recently diagnosed with cancer, is proceeding through treatment, or caring for a loved one with cancer, the organization exists to provide support. Some of the various services offered by the American Cancer Society include:
- Cancer information services. Providing accurate updates about cancer is one of our priorities. You can locate a great amount of information on the American Cancer Society’s websites. You can also call the organization if you have additional questions. The society’s cancer specialists provide help around the clock.
- Community programs. The society offers various programs and services to help people diagnosed with cancer as well as survivors in addition to family and loved ones. The society provides information as well as daily help and emotional support.
- Daily support. The Society provides various types of daily help including transportation to and from cancer treatment, lodging if cancer treatment takes people too far from home, hair loss and mastectomy products, and breast cancer support.
- The organization publishes brochures, books, pamphlets, and journals to help people with cancer as well as their loved ones. These publications include books addressing certain types of cancers as well as ongoing issues and prevention tips.
- Online community. The society shares experience as well as tips and inspiration through the American Cancer Society Cancer Survivors Network.
CaringBridge is a free internet service that offers free services to families and loved ones to keep in touch with people who are battling illnesses like cancer. In addition to updates, CaringBridge provides a guest book where both friends and loved ones can send support messages.
The first CaringBridge site was begun in 1997 when two college classmates who were in a relationship requested that a software engineer help keep people updated following the premature birth of their daughter. Rather than update everyone in long and painful phone calls, the couple decided to create a website instead. The premature daughter ultimately passed away, but this launched the life of CaringBridge, which has played a valuable role in the lives of many cancer patients.
A few years later, CaringBridge had grown substantially. By the end of 2001, the company had 3,800 personal websites with 372,400 visitors. The next year, the company was granted 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. In 2004, CaringBridge hit 1 million views and almost 20,000 personal websites.
When it was featured on NBC Nightly News in 2007 for its tenth birthday, CaringBridge had over 80,000 personal sites and almost 72 million visits.
A study conducted in 2010 by Foster Research of CaringBridge revealed that over 90 percent of people who responded who were facing health-related challenges determined that using CaringBridge to remain in contact with friends and loved ones made their journey easier. Meanwhile, 88 percent of people who responded commented that CaringBridge positively influenced their healing.
Commemorating its 20th anniversary in 2017, CaringBridge requested that both caregivers and patients throughout the country discuss how they have discovered healing even if cures were not possible. Patient stories were recorded in both photographs and videos by a National Geographic photographer.
In 2021, CaringBridge appointed a new Chief Executive Officer. The next day, in 2002, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary. The company’s celebrations included a new website and a new light display at the Mall of America.
Facing an illness is one of the most challenging things that a person can do. Family and friends can be great sources of support, but it can be difficult to routinely share updates about your health with everyone. CaringBridge realizes that a cancer patient’s time is limited even if a cure does exist and replaces the countless number of emails and texts with an easy-to-navigate platform. Some of the services offered by CaringBridge include:
- When people are on health journeys, fielding the constant texts and phone calls from loved ones asking how they are can be a lot to juggle. CaringBridge offers a website that shares health updates with everyone in your circle.
- Tasks related to your health journey can seem daunting at times. CaringBridge’s website offers both relief and support to help you ask someone in your community for help.
- CaringBridge makes safety a priority. The website is secure, ad-free, and never sells the data of its users.
- CaringBridge has supported health journeys for approximately 25 years. The company understands the power of the community’s support.
- Establishing a website on CaringBridge takes only a few minutes.
Cleaning for a Reason
This nonprofit foundation is focused on providing help with house cleaning for people with cancer who need “one less thing” about which they worry. Headquartered in Texas, this company has a network throughout the United States of individuals and business entities who volunteer their cleaning services.
The nonprofit’s focus is to eradicate the challenges and burdens faced by patients who are recovering from cancer surgery, undergoing active cancer treatment, or in hospice so the person with cancer can focus on spending time with his or her loved ones.
The nonprofit’s founder had the idea for the company while conserving with a prospective residential client. The client told the founder that the client could not afford home cleaning because she was receiving cancer treatment. At that point, the founder decided that no person receiving cancer treatment should ever be rejected by her company. Instead, the company goes as far as to offer free cleaning services to people with cancer.
The founder proceeded to share her idea with other residential cleaning companies at an annual event for those professionals in the cleaning industry. During this meeting, the founder explained that people receiving cancer treatment often very much need housecleaning services. The audience at this meeting agreed and as a result, many other people pledged their support. Soon after, the founder registered the company as a nonprofit organization.
Any person with any type of cancer as well as their family qualifies for the company’s services. Patients qualify for service if they are recuperating from surgery associated with cancer, actively undergoing treatment like radiation or chemotherapy, or being treated at a hospice. The company accepts applications online which involve the patient submitting his or her email address, name, and physical address. Because it’s often difficult for people with cancer to fill out paperwork, a family member, loved one, or someone on a medical team can fill out the required paperwork.
Patients who qualify for services are not required to pay for anything. Instead, the company’s cleaning partners donate both time and services to give back to the community. After being matched with a qualified company, a person receives two cleaning sessions at their residence. This often works out to one cleaning a month for two months. While these services are helpful, they do not include “deep” or “spring” cleanings.
Corporate Angel Network
The Corporate Angel Network schedules free transportation for people with cancer to centers of treatment through the use of empty seats on corporate jets. Eligibility on these planes is available to all people with cancer who are ambulatory and do not require medical support while traveling. Eligibility is not influenced by financial need and patients can travel as frequently as they need to do so.
The company was established in 1981 after three people exchanged a dream about using empty corporate jet seats to transport cancer patients to receive care. The company was founded by the founder of Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, a licensed commercial pilot, and the previous owner of a New York Avis Car Rental franchise. Two of the founders are cancer survivors and know firsthand how challenging transportation-related issues for cancer patients can be.
In 1981, the pilot flew the first flight for the company, which involved bringing a young patient to Detroit in time for Christmas following his cancer treatment in New York City. As the company grew, corporations throughout the United States were asked to donate empty seats on their corporate jets. Today, the company works with over 500 corporations, which includes 50% of the Fortune 500.
Some of the biggest benefits that people with mesothelioma realize by taking advantage of the company’s services include:
- Access to lifesaving and life-prolonging medical equipment is not available in all areas
- Avoiding common obstacles in commercial travel related to immune deficiencies
- Loved ones, family members, and staff can travel with the cancer patient
- The financial challenges related to traveling are greatly reduced
- Traveling to clinical trials helps to contribute to the potential cure for future patients
To make traveling as easy as possible with the company, every passenger receives guidelines that address travel including what the patient should wear, media restrictions, protocol for unexpected changes, and any other related information.
The company does not create a flight request until three weeks before a person’s appointment. The company also does not begin looking for flights until one week before the person’s appointment. Occasionally, the company locates immediate flights, but this is influenced by where a person lives and where that individual is going. Because the company sometimes cannot locate a flight, people are urged to book commercial reservations as a plan B.
The Environmental Working Group
The website of the Environmental Working Group has substantial details regarding the existence of asbestos in this country and details related to legislative efforts. The group focuses on empowering people with up-to-date research so that individuals clean make informed choices and live in the healthiest surroundings possible.
Beginning in 1993, the Group has given attention to outdated legislation, harmful practices in the agriculture industry, and loopholes in various industries that endanger people’s health. The group’s scientists, policy experts, and lawyers work together to revise the country’s agriculture and chemical safety regulations.
One of the most recent areas where the group has focused on asbestos exposure dangers is that of cosmetics and perfumes. One 2020 study conducted by the Deloitte consumer research firm discovered that a third of shoppers purchase cosmetics and fragrances during the holiday season. While people assume that these products are free of ingredients, this is not always true. Instead, these products are known to contain hazardous ingredients including asbestos as well as chemicals and lead. Asbestos is reportedly found in one of seven talc-based cosmetic samples.
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (or Meso Foundation, for short) provides both support and hope to people with cancer as well as their loved ones by informing them about the disease, helping them to receive the most current information regarding treatment options, connecting patients with specialists who focus on mesothelioma treatment, providing assistance and support as well as a community to others.
The Meso Foundation is a nonprofit effort between patients and their loved ones as well as doctors and researchers focused on removing the devastating consequences of mesothelioma. The organization believes in the possibility of a mesothelioma cure. Due to the substantial human suffering that results from mesothelioma in combination with the compassion of the mesothelioma community, the legal ramifications of asbestos, and the advantages of mesothelioma research, the organization believes that it has the resources to achieve its goal regarding mesothelioma treatment. The agency focuses on utilizing its mesothelioma resources as effectively as possible.
The Foundation has repeatedly commented that mesothelioma is the result of asbestos exposure and that research has shown prolonged exposure to asbestos at job sites increases a person’s risk of developing mesothelioma. The Foundation acknowledges the need to restrict the possibility of asbestos exposure as prevention is a critical part of reducing the number of mesothelioma cases. The organization believes in funding research that can help to find better treatments and locate a cure. With financial transparency and by following health guidelines, the foundation hopes to achieve several goals including:
- Offering hope and support to people with mesothelioma
- Fund promising mesothelioma research
- Raise awareness about mesothelioma among the public
- After a grant application is awarded, work with the recipient and their institution
- When a grant term concludes, receive a report describing what was and was not accomplished
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s Cancer Survival Toolbox
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship offers a free audio program to help people create the requisite skills to both addresses and appreciate the challenges connected to cancer. The toolbox was created by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Association of Oncology Social Workers, and the National Association of Social Workers with a grant from Genentech Incorporated. The toolbox helps to inspire cancer patients and survivors to take a more active role in the care they receive.
Books about Mesothelioma
Various helpful books have been written about mesothelioma over the years. Some of the most notable books about mesothelioma and asbestos include:
- 21st Century Adult Cancer Sourcebook. Published by the National Cancer Institute, this book includes authoritative details and practical suggestions from leading cancer experts in the United States about mesothelioma. In addition to addressing signs, symptoms, testing, surgeries, treatment options, staging, and survival changes, the book also includes a glossary of medical terms and references related to mesothelioma. The book focuses on providing mesothelioma patients as well as their loved ones the details they need to address a mesothelioma diagnosis. The book also includes current details about clinical trials.
- An Air that Kills This publication which was released in 2004 explores how asbestos poisoning that occurred in Libby, Montana revealed a national scandal. The book provides a timeline of occupational health in this country and the potential repercussions of the health crisis that resulted from the negligent use of asbestos in various products. The book also documents nonoccupational exposure to asbestos. The book examines the results of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry survey as well as examines how worries about environmental asbestos were neglected.
- Outrageous Misconduct. This 1985 book explores the litigation of asbestos cases. The author, Paul Brodeur, begins the book by stating the media coverage of the asbestos crisis in the United States has always been minimal. The author then examines efforts by leading asbestos-litigation firms over the last five decades to challenge companies over the asbestos-exposure-related deaths of workers. Much of the author’s argument revolves around the history of the Mansville Company, but he also introduces evidence about the mesothelioma industry. The Manville company surprised the legal industry in 1982 when the company filed for bankruptcy to guard itself against the large number of asbestos-exposure-related claims it faced. The author discusses a trail of asbestos cover-ups beginning in the 1930ss and the sudden spike in the number of asbestos exposure lawsuits in the 1970s.